Typos p. 434, n. 5: Keneally [= Kenealy]; p. 461: Mississipi [= Mississippi]; p. 469: adaptibility [= adaptability]; p. 473: conjunctivities [= conjunctivitis]; p. 473: "but rarely [= but rarely]; p. 474: rarification [= rarefication]; p. 474, n. 5: hypothryoidism [= hypothyroidism]; p. 480: Dünzter [= Düntzer]; p. 486: Osteomalachia [= Osteomalacia]; p. 490: anostomose [= anastomose]; p. 491: embryo and and [= embryo and]
The Desirable Mate (Female)
Age. In this country and America the question of the right marriage-age for women has for generations been abandoned to the mercy of so much ignorant prejudice and expert support of the latter, that I despair of being able to expose every error and source of error that has led to our present cruel and ridiculous customs. I can deal only with the more flagrant of the false doctrines current, and show how ascetic bias and matronly, spinsterly and often paternal jealousy (all three largely unconscious) have combined in an infernal pact to blight the lives of young women, always with the alleged object of serving their best interests.
There is no need to give a comparative table of the ages at which menstruation first occurs in the girls of the whole world; I shall confine myself to the girls of Anglo-Saxon race.
We shall see that there are notable differences in the views of the experts.
Havelock Ellis says 14 to 16, 1 Dr. E. H. Kisch says about 15, 2 Dr. A. C. Magian, 14, 3; Dr. J. H. P. Paton, 13 to 14 4; Professor Neurath, 15 to 15 5; Drs. Bland Sutton and Giles, 15 6; Dr. G. T. Wrench, 14 7; Dr. Quetelet, about 14 8; Dr. H. L. Hennessey, 14 to 16 9; Twentieth-Century Practice, 12 to 15. 10
I have already quoted Miss R. M. Fleming's statistical inquiry, in which she found, in a material of 2073 Welsh and English girls, that menstruation began between 11 and 13, and usually before 13, among the dark children, and between 14 and 15 among the fair children. 11
1 M.W., p. 279.
2 K.A.F., p. 426.
3 S.P.W., p. 37.
4 B.M.J., 10.9.27. THE INFLUENCE OF THE GENERAL HEALTH ON MENSTRUATION, p. 444.
5 J.A.M.A., 14.1.33, p. 132.
6 DISEASES OF WOMEN (London, 1926, p. 40).
7 HEALTHY WEDDED LIFE (London, 1923, p. 108).
8 A., p. 201.
9 E.B., XIth Ed. (Art.: Gynæcology).
10 Edit. by J. L. Stedman, VII, p. 565.
11 See p. 330 supra.
Dr. Janet E. Lane-Claypon, in a material consisting of 1017 women, 508 with, and 509 without, cancer, all British except 14 (and 17 did not remember the age of onset of the catamenia), it was found that 20 per cent of the non-cancerous started menstruating before 13, and only 13.34 of the cancerous did so. 2
A careful study of the figures on which these estimates are based reveals that, while in the majority of cases the onset occurs before 14, most authorities, baffled by the number of girls who to-day begin menstruating at from 15 to 17, try to strike a balance, and give the average age at onset instead of the normal.
In view of the confusion, even in expert minds, regarding the ideas represented by "average" and "normal", this is perhaps not surprising, but it makes their findings seriously misleading.
For, if there is such a thing as a normal onset for healthy English girls say at 12 or 13 then, owing to the appreciable number of less healthy girls whose onset is at 15, 16, or 17, we may get our notions of normality distorted if we consider averages.
I should like the reader to dwell on this, and for the following reasons:
(1) I strongly suspect that any onset of the catamenia after 14 is actually abnormal.
(2) I think the experts (particularly some of the female doctors) do not like admitting this, chiefly because of the conclusions that may be drawn from it, as we shall see.
(3) Averages are untrustworthy guides to normality.
(4) Ideas of health are so devoid of precision and reasonableness in the expert mind, that the average medical man of minus-humanity, and minus-knowledge of normality, would scoff at me and, owing to his academic degrees, try to induce the lay world to scoff with him, for saying that a healthy girl is unlikely to begin menstruating later than 14.
Truth to tell, medical men are far too prone to judge health from a lay and inexpert standard. The fact that a girl looks well, can get about, is active, eats heartily, and shows average weight,
1 B.M.J., 10.9.27. THE PREVENTION OF MENSTRUAL TROUBLES, p. 446.
2 REPORTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL SUBJECTS, No. 32 (London, 1926, pp. 2021).
And, seeing that such endocrine disturbances and even genital hypoplasia are growing extremely common in the female, and that in these cases the onset of catamenia is usually late, it is not only unscientific, but actually benighted, to include the appreciable and growing percentage of these abnormal girls in the group of the healthy, and to fix "averages" for the menarche, 1 unless it is definitely stated that such averages do not represent normality.
That is my first point which, I may say, is so far from occurring to the medical experts, especially the feminists among them, that the latter, so I am assured, regard the age of the onset of the catamenia as unimportant.
I shall show in a moment why it is important and how and why the feminists lose their scientific "objectivity" in dealing with this point. As in other cases, however, when I have opposed the orthodox scientific opinion of my day (and justifiably as subsequent research proved), 2 I do not expect my contemporaries to adopt my position, although I know that I can confidently wait for it to be confirmed.
I therefore suggest that, but for Dr. Paton's and Drs. Bland Sutton and Giles's estimates given above, the rest are misleading; because I suspect that they are the result of an average having been struck without due regard having been paid to the abnormal factor in the higher ages.
It is possible and even reasonable to recognize a variation of about a year, due probably to race differences within these islands, as Miss Fleming's figures appear to indicate. But anything more than that should not disturb our concept of normality,
1 Onset of menstruation.
2 See the Preface to 2nd Edition of my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY (London, 1933).
Dr. J. H. P. Paton gives me convincing support in this. His material consisted of about 400 schoolgirls, drawn from the "well-to-do classes", and he says: "Menstruation usually commences about the age of 13 or 14 in healthy girls," 1 and he adds: "A high level of general health, attained before puberty and maintained after it, is undoubtedly the chief agent in securing normal menstruation." 2
Dr. Alice E. Sanderson Clow, in a paper already quoted, after finding that 57.04 per cent of her 1157 schoolgirls started menstruating before 14, and that only 30.65 per cent of her 300 training-college girls started before 14, makes these significant remarks:
"Although the standard of health among the latter is good, the schoolgirls are, on the whole, of better physique. It would seem, therefore, that earlier development of the generative organs is associated with physical fitness." 3
Dr. Kathleen Vaughan, moreover, who is untiring in her advocacy of means and methods for making childbirth easier, says of the female pelvis, "It is the most actively growing part of the whole body . . . its shape is determined by the pull of the muscles attached to it while it is soft. At 14 years of age it is fully formed for good or ill." 4
Another independent witness on the same side but the evidence is sparse and difficult to find is Dr. Samuel R. Meaker, Professor of Gynæcology at Boston University. In his STUDIES OF FEMALE GENITAL HYPOPLASIA, in which it is important to remember that he was dealing with American material (i.e. women of whom Dr. Gaillard Thomas, an eminent gynæcologist, has declared "only about 4 per cent were physiologically fitted to become wives and mothers" 5), he says:
"Hypoplasia of the female reproductive organs is a common condition. . . . Of 100 wives whose marriages were sterile, 42
1 The italics are mine. A.M.L.
2 Op. cit., p. 444.
3 Op. cit., p. 446. Dr. W. Feldmann (T.J.C., p. 237) says he finds evidence to the effect that the old Talmud sages believed that strong girls show signs [of puberty] earlier, weak girls later".
4 B.M.J., 22.10.32. The italics are mine. A.M.L.
5 Arabella Keneally: FEMINISM AND SEX EXTINCTION (London, 1922, p. 135). Other evidence of the sexual sub-parity of American women has already been given in a previous chapter. See Part II, Chap. III, notes included.
Then, in enumerating the symptoms of genital hypoplasia, he makes these important statements:
"The most important type of menstrual disturbance is, in our opinion, delayed menarche." 2
And what does he mean by delayed menarche? In America, that land of infertile women, he says, the onset of menstruation in 80 per cent of girls occurs before the fifteenth birthday. That is to say, according to statistics which I have not seen, but which I suspect of having yielded averages in no sense equivalent to the normal, he regards the onset of menstruation after 15 as delayed menarche, and he says: "Many of the residual 20 per cent . . . can be demonstrated to have constitutional disabilities capable of retarding development."
He calls this condition "menstrual misbehaviour", and declares that it "is nearly always the symptom that first draws attention to the need for thorough investigation." 3 But, over and above these witnesses of the fact that delayed menarche is associated with inferior health (from what cause soever), there is the evidence adduced in a previous chapter 4 to the effect that sexual vigour is correlated with the early onset of the catamenia.
The conclusion that the vigour and duration of a function are an index to its normality seems, ceteris paribus, ineluctable, and, since it appears to be established that the early (I do not mean the precocious) onset of menstruation is associated with a longer sexual life in the female, we are justified (apart from the other evidence adduced above) in regarding early menarche rather than delayed menarche as normal.
On these grounds I conclude:
(1) That, contrary to the opinion expressed to me by medical women, the age of onset of menstruation is most important.
(2) That it may be considered normal in English girls at about 13, but not later than 14. 5
1 J.A.M.A., 16.8.30, p. 468.
2 Ibid., p. 470.
4 See pp. 371372 supra.
5 In this respect it is interesting to find that Albrecht von Haller, a noted medical man of the eighteenth century, and also a traveller, set the usual age for onset of menstruation in English, German and Swiss girls, between 12 and 13 years (D.W., I, p. 668).
(a) Congenital constitution (endocrine imbalance, etc.) or,
(b) Acquired abnormality, due either to athleticism, or some other masculine-accented environmental factor.
Medical experts will, of course, protest at (a). But they should bear in mind the varying degrees of abnormality, and try to recognize the faint sub-acute forms of it, which do not necessarily lie crudely obvious to them on their operating tables, or ever enter their surgeries and consulting rooms.
Assuming, therefore, that 13 is the age when the onset of menstruation should occur (a little earlier is quite common and normal), the age of marriage ought to be much earlier than is popularly supposed, or scientifically claimed to be desirable; because the catamenia heralds the beginning of the female's active sexual life. 1
I am not suggesting that a girl should marry at thirteen, although, if she is normal, I do not see why she should not. But I am definitely charging the customs and prejudices of this Age with deliberate ill-usage of the female population by making the conventional marriageable age of a girl much too late, and these customs and prejudices are particularly hard on the normal young female, vigorously endowed sexually, although they may not cause any inconvenience or misery to her abnormal and less vigorously endowed sister.
Take the average age of marriage for women in England, as revealed by the Registrar-General's Statistical Review. This is twenty-five years and six months i.e. presuming that even 50 per cent of English girls are sexually normal and have their menarche at 13, the average normal girl has to wait twelve years before she can lead a normal sexual life!
And, seeing that these girls are the most healthily endowed, we are guilty of inflicting physiological disappointment for twelve years on the best of our women, because, as usual, we measure their capacity either by the worst female, or by the male.
Does it matter? How can it help mattering?
On a priori grounds alone, before we consult statistics, etc., surely it appears to be wrong to wait twelve years after a function has become normally active before it is used normally!
The feminist spinsters and matrons who endeavour to prolong
1 This, of course, is the obvious conclusion dreaded by Feminists and Puritans if they admit that normal girls should start menstruating as early as 13.
Miss Maud Wheeler, for instance, says: "No girl should marry till 21." 1 This is moderate. But Why? She can only speak vaguely about anatomical laws. Alas! the only laws involved are Puritanical laws.
But Dr. G. Courtenay Beale, who really ought to know better, and who, otherwise, is very sensible, says 25 is the proper age for a woman to marry! 2
These two are typical, and I need not further burden these pages with the excuses, pseudo-scientific pleas and arguments with which a host of other people make similar claims.
But the question is, what is a girl to do between 15 and 25? A more serious question is, what happens to the waiting girl's body in these momentous years, when her freshness, suppleness and mint-state passions are, as it were, dammed up?
It was generally understood by the ancients, even by the ancestors of the English people, that nothing good happened to her through delay. In a letter written by the Duke of Buckingham, urging forward the match between Prince Charles and the Infanta of Spain, he clearly feared the danger of long delay, for he said: "You know that the hawk, when she is first dressed and made ready to fly, having a great will upon her, if the falconer do not follow it at the time, she is in danger to be dulled for ever." 3
According to Kisch, the ancient Jews also appreciated the urgency; for he quotes one of the Talmudic sages (Rabbi Joshua) as saying: "If your daughter has attained puberty and is 12 years and 6 months old, she must be married at any cost. If no other means are available, manumit one of your slaves and give her to the freedman to wife." 4
This is the speech of a humane sage, a member of a wise race. He was no scientist, but he was endowed with traditional wisdom, beside which modern science is an unauthoritative upstart.
1 WHOM TO MARRY (London, 1894, p. 45).
2 W.W, p. 57.
3 I made a note of this passage years ago, but unfortunately did not record its source.
4 S.L.W., p. 267. See also TAL.: Synhedrin 76a, where Rabbi Aqiba says, in explaining LEV. xix. 29 ("Profane not thy daughter to make her a harlot"), that it means that a man must not delay in arranging a marriage for his daughter when she becomes nubile.
Thus he regarded the matter as so urgent that, after the father had in vain cast about for three years for a son-in-law, his sacred right to choose a husband for his daughter became forfeit.
Hesiod, the wise old Botian peasant, allowed four to five years at most to elapse. "Let your wife have grown up four years," he said, "and marry her in the fifth." 2
In ancient Rome girls usually married between 13 and 16. 3 The age of puberty in women was considered to be normally 12, 4 so that a wait of four years at most was tolerated, and a girl of 19 who had not had children was regarded as a monstrosity. 5
In Japan the girl marries before or at 16. 6
So much for some of the principal civilizations of the past and present.
There are, however, other reasons besides common sense and the tradition of ancient peoples for supposing that a long wait is actually injurious. But as science, in supplying us with substitutes for the sound traditions we have lost, is terribly long-winded and slow, the evidence is not easily obtained, while the general prejudice against what is thought to be "too early" marriage, is so great, that even when evidence is available it is neglected.
A glance at what menstruation means to the body of the female adolescent would perhaps provide the best introduction to this aspect of the question.
In his monumental work on sex, already quoted. Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld says: "The general consensus of modern expert opinion now favours the view (which is most probably right) that whenever an ovum matures in the ovary, the female's body makes all the necessary preparations for the possibility of con-
1 L M., IX, v, 90. The fuss created by elderly American and English spinsters about the conditions of which in various parts of the world outside the United States of America and England, is characterized by a resolute ignorance of conditions nearer their own doorsteps. It is incredible that these unconsciously jealous busybodies can forget that in England and America nothing could be more cruel than the sex-life of their normally endowed sisters, and can presume to criticize others as if their own ascetic conditions were faultless. The point is well put by F. Yeats-Brown in BENGAL LANCER, pp. 56 and 235.
2 Op. cit., pp. 695702.
3 R.L.M., I, p. 232.
4 P.L.R., p. 29.
5 R.L.M., I, 232.
6 Alice M. Bacon: JAPANESE GIRLS AND WOMEN, p. 57.
And then he adds these momentous words: "And in all this we are by no means concerned with a merely local process. On the contrary, the female's whole body is involved. Her pulse, blood-pressure, temperature, the sensitiveness of her reflex mechanisms, the warmth she radiates, her muscular strength and lung-capacity all rise before the onset of the catamenia, drop when it has started, and reach their lowest ebb at the height of the menstrual period, in order to recover their normal state only when the flow ceases." And Dr. Hirschfeld sums up the whole process as a "mock confinement". 2
Now, to suppose that this elaborate preparation, this general tuning up of the whole organism to the point of highest functional expectation, this exceptional stimulation and sensitization of all its parts for a particular object that is not achieved, can be repeated month after month, year in year out, as it is repeated in the childless girl, without bringing about:
(a) An ultimate dulling or blunting of the mechanisms and reflexes involved, and
(b) A morbid condition of fatigue and irritability in all the parts concerned in this monthly physiological commotion, is to my mind ridiculous; the idea cannot be entertained by any reasonable being, except a Puritanical female doctor, for two minutes. Owing, however, to the fact that ascetic prejudices are now so strong against so-called "too early" marriages, that this reasonable conclusion is questioned, I am bound to offer what
1 G.K., I, p. 442. See also Bland, Sutton and Giles (op. cit., p. 46): "We may, therefore, define menstruation as a periodic uterine preparation for pregnancy."
2 G.K., pp. 442, 443.
In the first place, it is a matter of common observation that, whereas adolescent girls seem, as Schopenhauer points out, 1 to be equipped by Nature to produce a dramatic impression on the opposite sex, owing to their bloom, lustre, general tonicity, graceful rounded forms, etc., all this slowly but very perceptibly vanishes after eighteen if they remain unmarried. Nor is it a matter merely of ageing. It is rather a matter of premature withering. As Ploss and Bartels say of the maturing spinster: "the colour fades from her cheek; her hair becomes drab, her lips pale and thin . . . dark shadows that tend to deepen appear beneath her eyes . . . the latter grow dull and acquire a sad and wistful expression . . . the voice often develops a plaintive harsh note, etc. There is a noticeable loss of subcutaneous fat . . . especially in the breasts . . . the shrunken skin on the upper chest looks masculine . . . the neck is thinner and the shoulders become more pointed and angular than they were . . . leaving the collar bones prominent. . . . The muscles in the arms grow more conspicuous than before," etc. 2
Then Ploss and Bartels add this significant sentence: "As to the average age when, in the girls of our nation this fading process begins, we must declare it as being 27 or 28, although the first traces of it may often be found as early as 25." 3
Now two points are to be noted here. First, that Ploss and Bartels speak of "the girls of our nation", i.e. girls of Teutonic blood, in whom the admixture of Mediterranean blood is certainly not greater than it is in English girls, if it is as great; consequently, the latter, by implication (i.e. owing to their marked Mediterranean elements) come well within this generalization, and it therefore applies to them with equal, if not greater, force. 4 Secondly, that these authorities speak of 25 i.e. the age at which it has become customary to recommend marriage for the female in England, and at which, according to the Registrar-General's returns, most English women marry as the age at which the ravages of the fading process may often be found present.
If, however, the fading process may often be noticeable at 25,
1 P.P., Chap. XXVIl, para. 365.
2 D.W., III, p. 274275.
3 Ibid., p. 275.
4 Stratz declares that German, Dutch, Scandinavian and English girls reach their zenith, as a rule, at 20 (D.S.W.K., pp. 95, 96).
I mean by this that we must try to rid ourselves of the expert medical tendency to recognize a morbid condition only when it is palpable and acute.
We may now usefully turn to the consideration of the morbid effects actually known to result from the delay or the long absence of natural functioning in the generative organs of the female, including the breasts.
In regard to the latter. Dr. Janet E. Lane-Claypon, in an interesting report on Cancer of the Breast, after stating that, "It has long been known that unmarried women suffer from cancer of the breast at a higher rate than married ones", and after pointing out that, "It is now proved that among married women those who are less fertile are at a disadvantage", 1 makes this profoundly significant remark:
"It can hardly be doubted that the absence of the normal function of the breast must be of importance in unmarried women. It is possible that the continued recurrence in the breast of the changes which occur with each menstrual cycle, without the stimulus due to pregnancy and lactation, may be the prejudicial factor." 2
Here is an indication of the kind of morbid effect I was referring to when I spoke above of "physiological disappointment", of "tuning up the whole organism to the point of highest functional expectation", without any normal result.
Again, it is important not to dwell on the cancer factor; because that is a gross and obvious manifestation of the morbid process initiated by prolonged inactivity of a part; but to recognize that if such extremely morbid results as cancer do more frequently occur in the breasts of unmarried than of married women, 3 we must logically assume that degenerative processes,
1 Op. cit., p. 131.
2 Ibid., p. 132. Also pp. 129 and 130.
3 Dr. L. B. Wevill, in a review of ONE THOUSAND CASE RECORDS OF MALIGNANT DISEASE OF THE BREAST (EDIN. MED. JOURN., Dec., 1932, p. 714), also says the
As regards at least the beauty of the female breast, and the preservation of that beauty through normal functioning, Stratz is quite positive; for he says: "All other things being equal, the female breast retains its beauty of form much better when a child has been suckled at it . . . the act of evading the duty of a mother avenges itself by a premature decline of beauty." 3
Regarding the womb and the effects of non-functioning, or inactive waiting, Drs. Bland Sutton and Giles tell us that cancer of the body of this organ is more frequent in spinsters and barren wives than in multiparous women, 4 while Dr. A. E. Giles found that in 881 cases of fibroid tumours of the womb, 50.8 per cent were in women who were either spinsters, or else married but childless, and the remaining 49.2 per cent, who, though mothers, had not had children for the last ten years. 5
Thus there would appear to be a direct connexion between this ailment and a history of prolonged inactivity of the organ.
Dr. J. T. Witherspoon, however, has actually shown the connexion between the repeated stimulation and preparation of the womb for pregnancy, ending in the catamenia, and uterine fibroids; and, confirming the empirical belief that the growth of fibro-myomata in the womb is related to sterility, shows how
disease is more common in unmarried than in married women. See also LANCET (8.10.32, p. 778) where on THE ÆTIOLOGY OF BREAST CANCER, Drs. C. C. Twort and A. C. Bottomley declare that, "It has been conclusively shown statistically that the female breast which is not allowed to function normally is more liable to develop cancer than one to which a child has suckled over a definite period of time". The article contains interesting indications of the morbid processes occurring in the female breast that does not function normally.
1 For instance, the decline in breast feeding, and the frequent failure of so-called "healthy" women in this respect, may not be unconnected with the degenerative processes, which though not necessarily culminating in cancer, nevertheless result from long delay before child-bearing. For facts about the decline of breast-feeding, see my LYSISTRATA and M.A.I.
2 Dr. Janet Lane-Claypon hints as much (op. cit., Part V, particularly pp. 129130), where she describes morbid processes resulting from the absence of normal functioning, which are similar to those described by Dr. Witherspoon in the non-functioning womb.
3 D.S.W.K., p. 98. Also pp. 90 and 259.
4 Op. cit., pp. 324325.
5 MEDICAL VIEWS ON BIRTH CONTROL (London, 1926, pp. 8788).
So that again here we find uterine cancer and fibroids associated as gross manifestations of the morbid conditions resulting from the absence of normal functioning, and we must again look away from these acute and dramatic results to dwell on the sub-acute and less obvious degenerative changes which, while they may never lead a young woman to the operating table, nevertheless must impair her sexual vigour, freshness and normality.
Now when, in addition to all this, we are told that dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation "is commoner amongst single than married women, and amongst the sterile than the fertile," 2 when, moreover, we learn that "after childbearing menstruation becomes less painful", 3 when, finally, we hear that in an investigation into the menstruation of 6000 schoolgirls it was found:
(a) That at the early period of menstruation, a smaller proportion of girls suffer pain than later;
(b) That the rise of incidence of pain is steady and gradual throughout the menstrual histories studied; and
(c) That the evidence of disturbed general health and happiness also increases progressively with length of menstrual history. 4 When, I say, we hear all this, I submit that there is no alternative but to conclude that waiting for normal functioning after the onset of the catamenia is injurious to girls, and that when this waiting is prolonged, as it is to-day, to the extent of ten to twelve years, it is actually dangerous. For it cannot be too greatly emphasized that it is the best girls, that is to say, the most normally equipped genetically, and the most ardent, who are likely to be the greatest sufferers, and to whom most damage is done by procrastination.
The fact that the last findings quoted point to a deterioration of function as age increased, while the girls were still at school, 5 leaves no possibility of doubt that the number of years after the onset of catamenia, during which a girl may wait for marriage
1 MED. PRESS, 5.7.33, p. 3.
2 E.M., IX. Drs. Christopher Martin and Hilda Shufflebotham.
3 Bland Sutton and Giles (op. cit., p. 41).
4 MENSTRUATION IN SCHOOLGIRLS (LANCET, 5.7.30, pp. 5762).
5 The extensive material (6000 girls) should be borne in mind in considering the weight of this evidence.
My general conclusion, therefore, is that marriage for the modern normal English girl comes as a rule many years too late, that her health, sexual functions and vigour are impaired by her prolonged wait many years before she marries, that the damage done is in proportion to her ardour and normal equipment, and that this result must affect her own and her husband's happiness.
I would suggest that no English girl who menstruates at 13 should marry later than 16 or 17, and so on accordingly; but that if she can marry at 15, it would be better, provided her general health is good.
Until the seventeenth century this seems, indeed, to have been the practice. Furnivall, in the book already quoted, 1 gives countless instances of marriages as early even as 12 or 13 during the Middle Ages and up to the sixteenth century. He also gives the case of the Countess of Buccleugh who, as recently as 1657, was married to Walter Scott at the tender age of 11, 2 while a still more recent case he gives was that of Lady Sarah Cadogan, daughter of William, first Earl Cadogan, who in 1719 married Charles, second Duke of Richmond, when she was only 13. 3 In 1679 Evelyn was present at the marriage of Lord Arlington's daughter to the Duke of Grafton when she was only 12. 4 Evelyn himself, as a man of 27, was married in 1647 to a girl of 12. Pepys married (1655) a girl of 15. Charles I married Henrietta Maria when she was 16. James I married Anne of Denmark when she was 15.
Earlier, of course, it was customary for a girl to marry almost at puberty, and the kings of England constantly married adolescents. John's wife was only just 15. Eleanor of Provence, Henry III's wife, was barely 14 when he married her. Isabella of France was 13 when she married Edward II. Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III, was 16 when she married. Anne of Bohemia married Richard II at 15.
In France, where puberty came slightly earlier, marriages were repeatedly consummated with girls of only twelve, right up to
2 Ibid., XXXII.
3 Ibid., XXXIII.
The next question to consider is the effect of marriage on one who, according to foolish modern notions, is of such "tender a age", and the effect of early marriage on offspring.
To deal with the first question first, it seems obvious that if the above facts are correct, the effect of marriage on a healthy girl of 15 or 16, who has started menstruating at 15, cannot be anything but good. 3
Owing (a) to the suppleness of her limbs and (b) to the pristine vigour of her constitution, she is in an ideal condition for child-bearing, and the statistics of childbirth confirm this.
To begin with, we do not hear of dramatic and sudden collapses, or deaths, in the women who marry young.
Dürer's father, for instance, as a man of 40 married a girl of 15. But she lived to the age of 63 a good age for those days . when the artificial medical aids to a long valetudinarian old age did not exist after giving him eighteen children. Evelyn's wife, who could not have been more than in her seventeenth year when her first son was born, lived to 74, after presenting him with nine children. Eleanor of Provence lived to 56 and had nine children; but she could hardly have been 17 when Edward I was born. The most convincing case, however, is that of Margaret Beaufort, who lived to 68, although her son. Henry VII, was born when she was under 14.
The evidence from midwifery records is all in favour of early marriages for women.
Dr. Margaret Schultze, for instance, in a report on Labour in the Elderly Primipara, says abnormal presentations and contracted pelves are more common in the elderly than the young mother; she adds that "the frequency of inadequate pains increases with advancing age", 4 and that "a rather high percentage of Cæsarian sections will probably always be necessary in the older women and in those with previous long-standing sterility." 5
1 See R. de Maulde la Clavière (op. cit., particularly pp. 2728).
2 Op. cit., p. XXXIII.
3 It is interesting to note that of the 1017 women studied by Dr. Lane-Claypon, she found that "The age of marriage of the control series [i.e. the 509 who did not have cancer] is lower throughout than that of the cancer series." Thus 158 in the non-cancerous group married at or before 20, while only 95 of the cancerous group did so (op. cit., pp. 3940).
4 J.A.M.A., 14. 9.29, p. 829.
Dr. P. L. McKinlay has found that, estimated in terms of first births, the death-rate increases rapidly and steadily with age, subject to a small exception in the first quinquennium, which may possibly be a consequence of unfavourable marital selection at that age, 3
Dr. Peckham, reporting on births in negresses and white women in America, says: "In both races the percentage of operative deliveries increases with age and in the white race reaches a point in the late thirties when it exceeds the spontaneous type." 4
Dr. John Harris, from a study of 160 confinements in young white primiparæ and 340 young coloured primiparæ, of ages 12 to 16 years, concludes as follows: "Based upon the study of 500 patients comprised in this report, it seems permissible to conclude that pregnancy and labor are attended by no greater danger to the young primipara than in older women. On the other hand, the duration of labor is actually shorter. As our figures show that the size of the children is not inferior to that noted in older women, and that abnormal pelves occur quite frequently, this result must be attributed to the greater elasticity of the parts. Consequently, speaking from a purely obstetrical point of view, the ages under consideration appear to be the optimum time for the occurrence of the first labor." 5
Dr. K. Wepschek, of Czechoslovakia, examined the records of 96 girls who became mothers below the age of 17, and of 96 young women who became mothers between 20 and 24, and "He found that the first group did not compare unfavourably with the second group, but that in some respects, particularly in regard to puerperal morbidity, conditions were more favourable for them than for the older group of primiparas." 6
Figures obtained in New South Wales are summarized by Paul Popenoe as follows:
1 B.M.J., 1.7.30, p. 49.
2 Ibid., p. 47.
3 JOURN. OF HYGIENE (London, July, 1929).
4 J.A.M.A., 6.8.32, p. 504.
5 From Dr. G. D. Maynard's STUDY IN HUMAN FERTILITY (BIOMETRIKA, XIV, p. 345).
6 J.A.M.A., 23.9.33, p. 1041.
And among Popenoe's conclusions from the data he has examined, we read: "There are fewer infant deaths among the offspring of young mothers. Many of the published investigations on this point are unsound or have been wrongly interpreted." "Early marriage is accompanied by greater longevity of children." And "The offspring of young mothers are not only healthy but they are intelligent." 2
Such evidence could be extended. The point to bear in mind again, however, is that we must look away from the acute morbidity of pregnancies in the late thirties, etc., in order to give proper consideration to the probably unrecorded and yet inevitable beginnings of these morbid conditions which must exist in much younger women women still in their twenties who have waited unmarried over a decade since the onset of menstruation.
If we give due weight to the probability that conditions which are shown to become acute after thirty must exist in a mild form long before thirty is reached, we shall inevitably conclude that a much earlier age than that which is at present recommended should be adopted for the marriage of girls.
When we remember that obstetric interference is increasing by leaps and bounds; 3 that, according to Dr. G. F. Gibberd, "In 1928 the proportion of Cæsarian sections to total deliveries at Guy's Hospital was as great as the proportion of all obstetric operations to total deliveries 60 years ago," 4 that, in spite of all the alleged improvements in appliances, anæsthetics, surgical skill, and general medical knowledge, the proportion of deaths un childbirth do not tend to decrease, 5 we are led to wonder whether in addition to the contributory factors of faulty feeding, miscegenation, and too severe physical exercise for girls, the
1 M.M., p. 52.
2 Ibid., pp. 5354.
3 See Dr. G. F. Gibberd's CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF THE MATERNAL DEATH RATE (LANCET, 14.9.29, pp. 535536). On p. 536 he says, since 1860, obstetric interference has been multiplied by six.
4 Op. cit., p. 535.
5 See figures in the Daily Press, quite apart from those in medical journals. In fact, in spite of improved medical assistance, the proportion of deaths per 1000 live births remains more or less stationary. According to the Registrar-General's Statistical Review, it was 4.08 in 1925, 4.12 in 1926, 4.11 in 1927, and 4.42 in 1928.
I tried to correlate the maternal death-rate in both England and France with the age at marriage, but found it impossible, owing to the defective returns. A steady decline of marriages with girls under twenty is, however, certainly recorded in English statistics for recent times, and we know from history that, before the nineteenth century, such marriages were much more common than they ever were after 1850.
Marriages per thousand of girls under 20 in:
Thus, except for a slight rise in the last two years, the number per 1000 has declined over 50 per cent in a little over fifty years.
Even the marriage per 1000 of girls over 20 and under 25 has also declined during the same period, as we can see from the following:
Thus, except for a notable rise in the year following the clearing up of War conditions, a decline is apparent. And, with the prejudices now rife, it promises to be sustained. When we bear in mind that, in addition to the factor of age, which tends to be made steadily higher and higher, we must also allow for the recent introduction of hard exercise and masculine sports in girls' schools, so that, in any case, the pelvic muscles and bones tend to be prematurely stiffened, we can hardly wonder if, despite the alleged advances in science, parturition does not tend to become an easier or less dangerous function.
I, therefore, submit that the trend of modern opinion, as regards the marriage-age of women, is following, as it is in other depart-
(a) The prejudices already referred to, due either to asceticism or unconscious jealousy on the part of feminist spinsters, matrons or fathers, and
(b) The feminist insistence on assimilating the female to the male. 1
The next question is, what is the effect of early marriages on the children?
In the first place, according to Dr. Fritz Lenz, "the belief that mental maturity is of importance for the favourable endowment of children, is a Lamarckian superstition." 2
Even the supposed mental immaturity of the female parent appears to have little effect in this direction. Edward I could hardly be called a mentally defective king, neither could Edward III. Henry VII, born of a young woman under 14, was a most gifted man. Confucius was the result of a marriage between a widower of 70 and a girl of 17, and a widower of 70 whose offer of marriage had been declined by the girl's elder sisters. Dürer's father, as we have seen, was his wife's senior by 25 years, and the artist was the third child, i.e. he was born when his mother was only 18. Weber's father, when over 50, married a girl of 17. Beaudelaire's father was 35 years older than his wife. Schopenhauer's father was 20 years older. Goethe's mother was married at 17 to a man 21 years her senior, and Goethe was born a year after.
It has actually been argued, in fact, that old fathers are particularly prone to procreate brilliant children, and Mr. A. F. Dufton, addressing the Anthropological section of the British Association at Leicester, on September 8th, 1933, propounded the theory that the older the father was at the date of a child's birth, the greater the chance of mental brilliance being acquired in the offspring. He also maintained that "the striking difference
1 Among the most flagrant examples of this is the practice of sending to the Universities girls who are the same age as the undergraduates who used to be the only students there. The girl student is thus sent to College when she is at a totally different stage of development from the male, and when she is actually at an age when it is monstrous for her to be without children. Feminists cannot get into their heads that the ejaculation of semen is the beginning and end of the male sexual function, and that, therefore, males and females cannot be assimilated. There is no equivalent in the female to the male ejaculation. The female sexual function requires pregnancy to be normal. Waiting for marriage, therefore, means something very different for men from what it does, for women.
2 M.A.R., p. 494.
Galton found that the early marriages of women certainly led to greater fertility. And he gives the following table:
And he concluded his inquiry into the facts by saying: "Hence, if the races best fitted to occupy the land are encouraged to marry early, they will breed down the others in a very few generations." 2
Dr. G. D. Maynard came to a similar conclusion and made a further discovery. He says:
"That early marriage is detrimental to the woman and results in a restricted family and unhealthy children is a view widely held, although, as far as I can ascertain, one based rather on what rice called 'general principles' [i.e. prejudice] than on ascertained facts. On general principles, however, the reverse might equally be expected, for if it were really detrimental to a race that early conceptions should occur, the age of puberty should have become delayed through the process of evolution. Among the animals, and in some human societies, desire and fulfilment wait only on opportunity, so that it is not unreasonable to expect that the appearance of the sexual passions should coincide with the optimum age for marriage." 3
He then proceeds to show from tables of births in the European population of New Zealand, and from other figures relating to England and Scotland supplied by Professor Pearson that not only fertility but also survival rate of children is greatest in girls married at 15 and 16. 4 And he concludes:
(1) "That if the fertility data here discussed be reasonably homogeneous, it is probable that in the European population of New Zealand over the age of 15, the younger the wife at marriage the larger will be the mean family of children born alive, unless
1 REPORT OF THE BRIT. ASSOC. FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. Ann. Meeting, 1933. London, 1933, p. 522.
2 l.H.F., pp. 209210.
3 Op. cit., p. 340.
4 Ibid. He points out that "the largest families are associated in England with marriage at 16".
(2) "That a similar observation is true of the family which survives to adult age." 1
There are other conclusions, but they do not concern us. The most important fact to bear in mind, however, is that revealed in conclusion 2 that the viability or survival value of children born of such young mothers is greater than that of children born from older mothers.
Professor Antonio Marro, who inquired into the Influence of Age of Parents on the psycho-physical characters of their children, also came to interesting conclusions, although to my mind he lays unnecessary stress on the moral side, which, as I have pointed out again and again, has little to do with the quality either of a person's mind or body.
However, his results as regards longevity and intelligence are interesting.
He found, for instance, that of a group of octogenarians
4, or 10 per cent, had been children of very young fathers.
23, or 62 per cent, had been children of fathers between 25 and 41.
10, or 27 per cent, had been children of fathers over 41.
Of a group of septuagenarians he found that
21, or 13 per cent, were the children of young fathers.
78, or 51 per cent, were the children of fathers between 25 and 41.
53, or 34 per cent, were the children of fathers over 41. 2
So that fathers under 25 do not appear to impart a high survival value to their children.
As for intelligence, he found it highest in children of younger parents, and in the latter found the lowest percentage of inferior intelligences.
He also found intelligence greater and inferior intelligence less frequent in children of mothers under 21.
And in speaking of schoolchildren as a whole, he says: "Coinciding with the youthfulness of their parents we find the maximum of good conduct and the maximum of higher intelligence." 3
A final point of paramount importance has yet to be considered, and that is the matter of the compensations instinctively resorted to by the nubile female of sound health and normal passions, if marriage does not come to her early. Legislating and arguing as if every one were below par generally, the modern
1 Op. cit., p. 345.
2 EUGENICS CONGRESS, 1912, p. 111.
3 Op. cit., p. 115117.
fornication, or pre-marital sexual congress with contraception were allowed to our adolescent females, they would still not be expressing their sex normally; for whereas sexual congress is all-in-all to a man, and completes his normal expression of sex, it is only the beginning of the female's sexual cycle.
When, therefore, a girl of ardent, i.e. normal sex endowments, is married late; when, that is to say, she is taken more than two or three years after the onset of the catamenia, we must expect to find her with distortions of her normal mental and physical equipment, commensurate with the length of time that her body has been held waiting. These distortions definitely mould her character, and, as we have seen, certainly mar the pristine health of her physical equipment. So that, from the standpoint of; characterology alone, we have for generations been damaging the majority of our womenfolk by condemning them to these long waits before natural and normal functioning begins. 1
Summing up the above arguments and data, I conclude that the modern prejudice against early marriage for girls, is based . on a mass of error, unconscious bitterness, middle-aged jealousy, asceticism, and feminism, which has infected even science (in the form of female and feminist-male doctors), and that it is the reader's patriotic duty to resist it with all his might.
If a man is of an age to marry, i.e. anything from 27 to 32 or 35 let him choose a healthy, positive girl as low down in her teens as the recent feminist and ascetic laws will allow him to go, and let him turn a deaf ear to the chorus of protestations
1 We shall see, for instance to mention only one characterological consequence of delayed marriage that the female's normal sadism should be expressed in her relation to her child. If this normal sadism is not expressed, however, it finds abnormal outlets hence possibly the cruelty of women, later referred to, their otherwise unaccountable love of the surgical side of medicine when they are hospital nurses (I have heard scores of young girls say, "the surgical side, watching operations, is much more thrilling"), their extraordinary hardness in the killing sports, and their love of criminal trials, displays of cruelty, etc. See pp. 456458 infra.
When Dr. Fritz Lenz, summing up this very question, says: "If the economic conditions permit, there is nothing to be said against marrying a girl of 16," 2 and Dr. August Forel recommends marriage for a girl at 17 or 18, 3 let the reader remember that they are both speaking of girls even more Teutonic, i.e. with less Mediterranean blood in them, than English girls, and that their words therefore apply with even greater force to the latter.
Finally, let me quote these weighty words of Dr. A. C. Magian, who, speaking of conditions in this country, says: "Modern civilization, with its tendency to delayed marriage, and the tight rein which it holds on young women surrounded by every form of sexual excitement, has a good deal to answer for." 4
Body Build. Most of the corresponding section in the previous chapter also applies here, except that the normal female appears, as I have shown, to be specifically more pyknic or eurysomatic in type. Also, whereas marked adiposity is an unfavourable sign in the young female, extreme thinness or asthenia in her is even more to be apprehended than in the male, because she ought naturally to have a subcutaneous layer of adipose tissue, softening the outlines of her muscles, and rounding the contours of her form, and the absence of this feature may always be regarded as abnormal.
In these days of the morbid cultivation of the "boyish figure , girls are inclined deliberately to reduce their diet below sustenance level, and there is evidence that this is causing an increase in tuberculosis in adolescent and young women. This increase dates from about 1895. But this was about the time when the modern rage for the slim, boyish female figure began.
"The mortality from tuberculosis among girls between 10 and 15 is double that of males and remains much greater up to the
1 The law certainly gives parents the right to resist him until the girl reaches the absurdly advanced age of 21; but magistrates can overrule these parental objections, and it is to be hoped that when the arguments and facts in this section become more generally known, there will be less parental opposition to early marriage for girls. But for this to occur, English fathers will have to be made conscious of their present unconscious incestuous impulses, so as to be able to control them.
2 M.A.R., p. 493.
3 Op. cit., p. 429.
4 S.P.W., p. 98. It will be objected that, however sound the arguments in this section may be, over-population and modern economic conditions make early fertile marriages impossible. I have answered this objection in detail in NIGHT HOERS (the complete case against birth-control).
That this recent increase in tuberculosis among young females is related to the late nineteenth and the twentieth century ideal of the boyish figure and the practice of slimming, is suggested by the fact that when there is no longer any need to attract by developing this type, i.e. in middle age, the deaths from tuberculosis preponderate among males. 4 If this is correct, it adds weight to the view that boyish slimness is abnormal in the female, and in this connexion it is most interesting to find Stratz advancing cogent reasons for the belief that Botticelli's Venus, which I have already referred to as an asthenic type of female, was painted from a model, Simonetta Catanea, who died of consumption when she was not quite 25. 5 Thus, as Stratz points out, "Botticelli made a pretty consumptive girl his ideal." 6
Tuberculosis is not, however, the only trouble to be feared in this bony type of female. Hysteria and general nervousness are even more serious. But enough has been said in a previous chapter concerning the probable connexion between thinness and neuroses, for the reader to know what is now meant.
The girl displaying the classic features of the neurotic instability, irritability, and lack of serenity may seem more "fascinating" or "interesting", 7 to the inexperienced young
1 B.M.J., 8.10.32, p. 677.
2 MED. PRESS, 22.6.32, p. 500.
3 LANCET, 17.2.34, p. 365.
4 See relevant reports quoted, particularly LANCET.
5 D.S.W.K., pp. 2628.
6 Ibid., pp. 28, 126. On the latter page Stratz rightly claims that the Primavera is of the same type.
7 See M.A.R., p. 474. "Not a few men will leave healthy girls sitting about as wallflowers, and will burn with ardour for the enigmatical, uncanny, and fascinating antics of the hysterical."
Apart from the disproportionate preponderance of females in our lunatic asylums, there is scant statistical evidence of an increase in nervous diseases among women; but one fact points that way, and that is the increase in stammering among girls.
At Newcastle, on December 16th, 1933, Sir Thomas Oliver said that "for the first time on record stammering was becoming prevalent among girls. Hitherto it had been mainly confined to boys". He added that the changes in modern life possibly accounted for this. 1
The normal serenity, or doe-like placidity of the female her classical characteristic thus seems to be leaving her, owing to the change in her morphology which, as shown in a previous chapter, is due to an ancient male-homosexual bias. But the experienced male still looks for this doe-like placidity in the female. It is the centre of gravity of the future home, and to overlook it for a boyish figure plus what Dr. Lenz calls "enigmatical, uncanny and fascinating antics", is foolhardy. For other particulars of body-build, see Erotic Disposition.
Character. This follows morphology, and, in selecting type, character is necessarily selected too. Again, here, it is important to disregard much that popular opinion, the newspapers and modern fiction hold up as desirable.
It is more important to secure a girl with a kind heart and ardent sensibilities, than one with a reputation of being "a good sport", or of having "a sense of humour"; because innumerable normal incidents in the home demand an ability to feel deeply about a matter, and a sense of humour denotes a congenital inability to feel deeply. 2
It is, above all, essential to get rid of certain wholly unfounded illusions about the character of the normal woman, which have been cultivated by the shallow psychology and sentimentality of the nineteenth century. These illusions are based on the "fairy" or "angel" ideal of women, according to which the female is supposed to be something less material, less gross, less animal than the male. These illusions still prevail very widely, and the
1 SUNDAY TIMES, 17.12.33.
2 Those readers who do not understand my slighting references to the much-idolized quality of "a sense of humour" should read my SECRET OF LAUGHTER (Constable, 1932).
They depict woman as a creature more "unselfish", less greedy, less sensual, more moral, and more humanitarian than man. I have already shown how ridiculous the claim of greater "unselfishness" is in the female. As to the claim that she is less greedy, the facts adduced by impartial witnesses regarding women and diabetes and women and gallstone disease, dispose of it utterly, 1 and it requires no farther refutation here. The claim that women are less sensual and more moral than men if any sensible man should require it to be exposed for him will be found adequately refuted in another of my works, 2 while as to the claim of greater humanitarianism in the female, this will have to be dealt with afresh, although I have already discussed it elsewhere. 3
First, let us understand what inhumanity is.
It is, as a rule, a perversion, i.e. a non-life-promoting and one-sided specialization as an end in itself, of what is a useful natural disposition. What is this disposition? It is obviously sadism. Sadism has natural and normal roots and a natural, normal function. 4 In the male it is expressed harmlessly and joyfully in his relation to the weaker female in normal love-making. Its chief element is the joy of power over a fellow-creature. In the female it is expressed harmlessly and joyfully in her relation to the helpless infant in normal motherhood.
Sadism becomes a perversion only when power over a fellow creature is sought and enjoyed as an end in itself, divorced from its normal life-promoting components.
Thus, normally, a woman expresses her masochistic feelings in her relation to man, and her sadistic feelings in her relation to her infant child. Man normally expresses his masochistic feelings in his relation to the social power he honours, and serves, and is prepared to die for, and his sadistic feelings in his relation to woman.
To deny that the proneness to a sadistic perversion is just as strong in woman as in man, is, therefore, shallow and unenlightened. And the woman who, as a spinster or as a wife with inadequately expressed motherhood, finds her normal
1 See pp. 271 and 273274 supra.
2 M.A.I., pp. 127130.
3 Ibid., pp. 9095.
4 For a discussion on the normal limits of sadism, see Freud's THREE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE THEORY OF SEX.
History is full of instances of her having done so, and if Dr. A. F. Chamberlain, in an impartial treatise, is able to say that woman is more cruel than man, 2 if David Hume was able to say, "no passion seems to have more influence on female minds than this for power" 3 (lust of power being the root of sadism), and if Dr. Briffault, whose bias is wholly feminist, is able to say that "primitive women are . . . even more cruel and ferocious than men," 4 and of mediæval European women that "as usual the women excel the men in cruelty," 5 it is evident that we are dealing with a matter that is something more than fancy.
In another work I collected a number of facts not generally known about this question, and instanced the revolting cruelty of the spinster martial corps of Dahomey, 6 of the Indian women of North America, of the women of Imperial Rome, to whom it was an entertainment to flog their slaves, and whose common practice it was to stick pins into the breasts and arms of their female slaves while the latter, stripped to the waist for the purpose, helped to dress them. 7
It was Queen Constance, and not King Robert the Pious, who in 1022 wished to put out the eyes of one of the heretics with whom the King had been debating at the Cathedral of Orleans. 8 It was the women of the French Revolution who disgusted the men with their bloodthirstiness, and not vice versâ. 9 It was the village girls and women, as Michelet shows, and not the men, who, in the civil wars in la Vendée, went out into the fields and stabbed the eyes. of the wounded and dying Republican soldiers with their long needles. 10 Bogmil Goltz says that "few women
1 See Note, p. 452.
2 THE CHILD (London, 1906, p. 421). Also Wieth-Knudsen (P., p. 57): "children and women are the most cruel of mankind".
3 ADDITIONAL ESSAYS, II.
4 MO, I, p. 453. A long list of examples supports the contention.
5 MO., III, p. 392. The examples should also be read.
6 See on this point Capt. Sir Richard Button (A MISSION TO GELELE, KING OF DAHOME, Ed. 1893, I, p. 112, and II, p. 49), also and particularly B. Chaudouin's TROIS MOIS DE CAPTIVITÉ AU DAHOMEY, pp. 286, 352.
7 M.A.I., pp. 90, 9396. As to the nauseating cruelty of Roman women to their slaves, see, for instance, such an impartial witness as Smith's DICTIONARY OF GREEK AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES: Article, "Servus".
8 THE MIDDLE AGES, by F. Funck-Brentano (London, 1922, p. 71).
9 M.A.I., p. 90.
10 HISTOIRE DE LE RÉVOLUTION FRANÇAISE (Paris, 1853), VII, p. 82. Michelet actually mentions by name certain women who did this.
It is data of this kind, together with ordinary observation, that makes one smile when, in the popular Press, surprise is expressed over the brutality of a white woman towards a native black, of a woman towards a child, a domestic servant, or an animal; or when a male reporter writes with wonder of a female official having shown bravery in doing her duty at an execution, or of a woman having shown calm fortitude on a jury in a criminal court, or in other occupations in which the death of a fellow creature is part of the business. But I mention these unpleasant facts, hidden away in histories and the files of newspapers, not because I have any anti-feminine bias, for, as I am tired of protesting, I am much more devoted to women than the most ardent feminist I have ever met; but because it is the only way to shed light on a subject which, owing to sentimentality and false nineteenth-century psychology (woman as the source of altruism!) has become completely obscured in England.
I make a special point of denying that woman is more "unselfish", less greedy, less sensual, more moral and more humanitarian than man, because to persist in believing all this rubbish is bound in the long run to lead the unenlightened man not merely into tragic disillusionment, but also into difficulties.
Let the inexperienced man, therefore, turn from the pursuit of women with these supposed, fictitious and frequently affected qualities, in order more usefully to seek those women who really have the qualities of their sex the morphological equipment and therefore the gifts of good mothers. In such normal women, provided he meets them when they are still sufficiently young,
1 ZUR CHARACTERISTIK UND NATUR-GESCHICHTE DER FRAUEN (Berlin, 1859, p. 173).
2 For references, see M.A.I.
3 DIE VERSCHWÖRUNG GEGEN DIE WELT. G.P.U. (Berlin, 1932, p. 137 et seq.).
Owing to the modern worship of brains and of the so-called fascination of the faintly neurotic type, it is perhaps idle to inveigh against the common error of preferring the vivacious before the more doe-like female; but the latter is a much surer guarantee of future happiness, and I endorse Mr. Russell H. Johnson's words on this subject. He says:
"Those mental traits that are most stimulating are the most effective. Hence vivacity leads . . . It is by no means a measure of mental efficiency and is frequently associated in its highest degrees with instability and hyperthyroidism. Indeed, it seems probable that much of the instability, neurasthenia and mental disease of to-day is the result of the relative over-effectiveness of vivacity in mate selection. On the other hand, the non-stimulating qualities stability, persistence, endurance, poise and judgment, are undervalued traits." 1
It is also desirable to avoid girls in whom inferiority feelings are a too-constant spring of conduct.
If a girl loses no opportunity of securing some sort of tribute from a man even if he be only a hall-porter or a chance passer-by it is tolerably certain that her feelings of inferiority, gnawing at her self-esteem, are forcing her to seek restoratives in the momentary adulation of a stranger, even below her in station. The fact that her action is unconsciously motivated must not mislead the observer concerning the true state of affairs. (Her male equivalent is the Don Juan type, already described.) 2
This behaviour may be innocent, and end with the satisfaction it gives the girl. There is the danger, however, that any able flatterer may achieve an easy victory with her and triumph over a spouse who has long ceased troubling to invent a fresh compliment every morning.
In regard to such a girl, moreover, the wise man should ask himself how much of her devotion to him is due to genuine appreciation, and how much to her pleasure over his painstaking flattery.
Beware, too, of girls with marked masculine tastes. These may be acquired in education and need not be basic. They may also
1 E.R., XIV, p. 260. A typical example of the way in which this common error of selecting the vivacious girl is propagated by popular fiction, is the following passage in LOVERS MUST LIVE, by Pauline Stiles (London, 1954, p. 142): "No, the girl isn't beautiful. She lacks vivacity."
2 See pp. 406407 supra.
The signs are various. The constant use of a walking-stick is one. A walking-stick, except on loose or rocky ground, or in the case of the aged, is a hindrance rather than a help to the balanced resilient walker. Until I learnt the correct use of self, under Alexander, I always carried a walking-stick. If a young woman takes to a stick, it is, therefore, suspicious. Certain styles in clothes, as I have shown, may also indicate male tastes in a woman. Other significant traits are a long swinging stride, a jaunty manner of sitting on chair-arms, side-boards, tables; a tendency to affect inelegant footwear; a proneness to act the champion of more feminine women, and a sudden display of hostility towards any man who rivals her in this capacity.
In the eyes of such a girl, even when she looks at her betrothed, there is always a trace of defiance or challenge. In her general demeanour there is no natural dignity.
Attention should be specially directed to girls with natural dignity. They, more than their less serene sisters, have the desirable character, provided other conditions already insisted on are fulfilled.
The shallow dicta that pass for wisdom and spread from mouth to mouth without anyone being able to trace their source, have also led to an absurd overvaluation of the quality of broadmindedness. The man in quest of a good mate should bear in mind that broadmindedness is of all qualities the least desirable in a girl. In addition to being a sign and product of weakness and weak instincts, it is a dangerous factor in the home. Let the reader dwell on the character of any figure in history who has shown strength, devotion and singleminded fidelity to a Cause or to anything, and he will discover that narrowmindedness has invariably been the chief feature of such a character. Narrowmindedness, therefore, is among the most important of the desiderata of a good wife. Those who prate thoughtlessly about broadmindedness are welcome to it in their own homes, although I doubt whether it is ever a desirable quality even outside the home.
1 See Adler's enlightening chapter on THE MASCULINE ATTITUDE IN FEMALE NEUROTICS (P.T.D.I., Chap. IX).
In the first, sent to 250 male students of Mississipi University, 98 per cent, giving "the desirable traits in a wife listed in the average order of importance assigned to them," placed moral character first, health second, and beauty ninth. 1
The general confusion and lack of information regarding morphology and its relation to character is apparent from the distance which separates moral character from beauty in the list and health from beauty, while ignorance of normal psycho-physical conditions is revealed by the fact that "willingness to rear family" is placed sixth as if the matter were purely one of an intellectual attitude towards a philosophic problem.
The second questionnaire was sent by an American journal, PHYSICAL CULTURE, whose male readers had to vote in a similar manner. This resulted in 23 per cent votes for health, 14 per cent for looks, 12 per cent for housekeeping, 11 per cent for disposition, 11 per cent for maternity (i.e. presumably for readiness to have a family as above), 10 per cent for education, with 5 per cent at the very end for character. 2
Again, there is the disparity between health and looks; but it is gratifying to find health placed so high in both results. The men of New York University voted as follows: 79 for health, 76 for beauty, and 26 for wealth. 3
This is a little more enlightened.
Finally, let it be said, that if the reader chooses a girl, young enough, healthy enough and good-looking enough, he will not need to worry much about such details as her readiness to be a mother, her disposition, her domestic qualities, etc.
Her youth will be a guarantee of her having resorted to no morbid compensations for sex-starvation, so that her character will be free from distortions, "wrong folds", and, above all, perverted substitutes for a normal expression of her natural sadism. Her beauty and health will be a guarantee of her desirable disposition, her normality, and hence other eagerness to function naturally and to become a mother. The warmth of her sensibilities will induce her, willy-nilly, to take an interest in the nest, her home, and, therefore to be domesticated; and so on in regard
1 M.M., p. 34.
2 Ibid., p. 36.
3 Ibid., p. 35.
Class. Same as .self.
Complexes. A girl taken young enough and healthy enough should have no tiresome symptoms from complexes. As we have seen, complexes cause no trouble in a healthy organism.
Should it be impossible to follow precisely the directions laid down in this book, and should it be necessary to select an older woman, past her twenties, the following points should be noted:
A girl with a pronounced attachment to her father (Electra complex) should be avoided. She is luckily more rare than the man with a marked mother attachment (dipus complex). All her married life she is likely to show impatience with her husband, especially over those matters where he differs from "Father" his politics, religious views, choice of newspapers, choice of aperient, of sports, pastimes, form of smoking (cigars, pipe, or cigarettes). She will be adamant in her fidelity to the views "Father" held, and will resist contradiction with fanaticism. As women are plentiful, and individual differences between them may be grossly exaggerated, it is best to drop such a girl and seek another who is not so afflicted.
A girl with pronounced inferior sex consciousness (castration complex) is also likely to be very tiresome. Dr. Helene Deutsch declares that this complex is a universal component in the physical structure of women, and arises from the little girl's consciousness of being deprived of an external anatomical part which the little boy is known to possess, 1 and she suggests that there are three types of women (1) the normal, who become reconciled to the loss of the male generative organ and seek compensation in feminine joys, (2) the neurotic and disgruntled, who never become reconciled and wish to avenge themselves on the world in general, and on men, in particular, for their grievance, and (3) those who unconsciously remain stubbornly unconvinced that they are completely deprived, and shun every experience that will disillusion them. 2
It is obviously important to find the first type of woman, and if she is chosen young enough and healthy enough, the castration complex will not prove a very formidable source of unhappiness.
1 Op. cit., pp. 13, 14.
2 Ibid., Chap. III.
If a young girl cannot, for various reasons, be selected, it is? also important to be on one's guard against the narcissistic young woman. Narcissism, as I have shown, is self-love, or, as Dr. Graham Howe has put it, self-idolatry. It is a turning inwards instead of outwards of the sex energy and striving. The narcissistic girl will be vain. 1 She will be like the third type, described above by Dr. Helene Deutsch, i.e. she will rum ever more and more away from experiences likely to reveal herself to another or to herself. She is content with herself, loves her own body, regards it as a holy-of-holies only to be guarded by herself. This girl, as a rule, hates marriage as a personal desecration. But if her vanity forces her to marry, in order to be equal with her friends, or if she wishes to escape drudgery, or what not, she will never forgive her husband his effrontery in having sullied her temple. Such women, if they marry, often become fanatical Christian Scientists in later life.
This attitude is so rare in the normal healthy girl, who has not waited too long for marriage, that narcissism may be ignored by the man who carries out the principles of this book. It is, however, common in the woman over twenty, and often becomes a fixed orientation by the time thirty is reached.
It should be remembered that vanity and modesty are to some extent normal in every female. The reader should not judge too adversely his fiancée's constant concern regarding what So-and-so has said or thought of her. This concern has not in her the same significance as in a man.
Deportment. The remarks under this head in the previous chapter apply with greater force to woman owing to the evil consequences of bad posture and carriage on the course of pregnancy and parturition.
It has recently become absurdly fashionable among girls of all classes to adopt a ridiculous shrug in walking and standing, as if an eternal reign of wintry cold made it necessary to lift coat
1 MOTIVES AND MECHANISMS OF THE HUMAN MIND (LANCET, 3.1.33, pp. 262263.)
It is a hideous, unhealthy habit, probably connected with modern feelings of inferiority and the effort to appear as if one rose superior to them.
It means that the thoracic cage is made rigid, breathing is inadequate, and the heart movements constricted. Girls who have the habit usually have protruding abdomens (below the navel) with lordosis. The fashion plates which imitate average poise reveal all these faults so accurately that a good orthopædic surgeon might easily use one of them as a pathological chart.
Choose a girl, therefore, who habitually carries her head with a graceful inward poise of the chin, whose shoulders are down, who has no ewe curve at the back of her neck, whose back is straight and whose arms hang loosely at her side.
Education. Not important, unless it means a difference of class. As the desirable mate should be too young to have gone to a University, there is no need to expand on this subject.
Erotic Disposition. Balzac says profoundly that "a man cannot marry unless he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one female corpse", because "the fate of a marriage depends upon the first night." 1
Allowing for the amusing exaggeration in the first statement, I entirely agree, and I think it lamentable that most men can talk intelligently and knowledgeably about the smallest structural detail of their cars, and are yet ignorant of the most necessary knowledge of all human structure and mechanism. On the other hand, however, while I too emphasize the importance of a man's being equipped to master the love-technique, particularly of the first night, I deprecate the modern tendency to make sexual congress loom so conspicuously in the life of the female spouse.
In spite of the howl which I know will be set up if many hedonistic quarters, I maintain, both from my personal experience, which is not small, 2 my reading and my conversation, that concentration on the voluptuousness of sexual congress is, generally speaking, in inverse ratio to femininity.
I will try to avoid misunderstanding. I am not saying that the
1 P.M., p. 79.
2 It has been intimate in regard to three types the English, French and German woman.
I think my proposition follows a priori from the differences in the sexual cycles of the male and female. It cannot be stated often enough in these days of the ignorant assimilation of female to male, that whereas in the latter the orgasm is the beginning and end of all, in the former it is but the first stage in a cycle which should last eighteen months at least, i.e. from conception to weaning. And normally, during this period, untold pleasurable sensations are distributed over every day. Sexual congress is thus but a sparking-plug episode, and to appreciate its comparative insignificance from the woman's standpoint, it must be valued in relation to the remainder of the cycle.
On a priori biological grounds alone, therefore, we are compelled to suppose that woman's instinctive desire is for the whole cycle (however unconscious the extent of the desire may be) and not for any part of it. Nay, we are compelled to suppose that any conscious urgent insistence on a part of the cycle, to the neglect of the rest, is actually abnormal.
When, however, we find a medical authority as scholarly as Dr. Robert Briffault assuring us that "extreme sexuality in the female . . . opposed to the periodical character of the female impulse, is undoubtedly a transferred male character"; 1 when a people as wise as the ancient Hindus are found associating the woman "who is always pricked with lust and who is always addicted to lasciviousness", with the type "who neither fears her husband nor other respectable persons", and when we find this type the Sankhini woman described as "the lustful, who always hankers after uniting with males", and physically as follows: "her body is tall, breast hard but of stunted growth", full of words sweet and her neck bears three line-marks", 2 we find remarkable confirmation of much personal experience. For, be it noted, this Hindu description is that of a masculoid female.
1 MO., I, p. 143. Confirmed by Dr. Maranon (op. cit., pp. 7779).
2 R., pp. 1415. Also p. 16 for the Hastini type, which is similar. In A.R., pp. 3435, a later treatise, this woman is described almost in the same terms.
The description in the RATISHASTRAM is good. Generally speaking, is I have found, such women have masculine features. In addition, they are too thin for normal females, and according to Balzac and this is a point I have also found confirmed their mucous system, particularly of the nose and throat is very sensitive. They easily get catarrh. 1 The impression they give is one of being over-sensitized, a condition almost invariably associated with thinness in women. Above all, their eyes tend to be unusually round in external appearance and not elliptical. The upper lids droop over small spheres to assume the shape of hemispheres a feature reminiscent of apes and monkeys. Strange to say, this is confirmed in the RATISHASTRAM, where the sage says: "She whose eyes . . . are circular becomes an immoral woman." 2
Psychological signs are, a truculent manner with men, a tendency to laugh at the dullest joke by a male and to overlook the brightest witticism by a female, a voice slightly strident, and a tendency to logorrhea. 3
Normal passion in a girl, however, is to be desired above all things. It denotes not only health and sanity but is also a potent means of reconciling a woman to those aspects of domesticity which, at the best of times, are monotonous or actually tiresome.
But this normal passion is very different from the lust of the Sankhini girl. The girl of normal passion is shy with men. She cannot stare them out as the passionless girl, or the Sankhini girl does. Particularly in the presence of one who attracts her, she cannot be bold, because her passions are too deeply stirred for her to be concerned with anything but the storm in her own breast. 4 She is, therefore, timid with men who attract her. Only when she knows she loves and is loved does she gain confidence and feel able to contemplate her man calmly. 5 Moderate in her
1 P.M., p. 102.
2 R., p. 37.
3 These characters are more or less confirmed by R., or by an earlier translation of it. (Madras, 1905.) See also Gustav Frenssen's OTTO BABENDIEK for an excellent portrayal of the type in Frau Hellebek.
4 This is confirmed in S.E., p. 146. In A.R. (p. 131), where we are told that when a passionate girl is drawn to a man, "her face, feet and hands break out into perspiration as soon as she sees him", and by Stendhal, who speaks of "la timidité, preuve de l'amour" (D.A., p. 13).
5 A.R., p. 130: "Une femme aime un homme premièrement lorsqu'elle n'a pas honte de la regarder."
She is usually morphologically attractive and normal.
It is necessary to warn men, particularly nowadays, against the "charming" perennially young, childish type. As a rule she is the victim of a condition known as infantilism, in which hypoplasia of the organs of generation is but the counterpart of her unduly protracted "childish charm". 2
I use the words "charming" and "childish charm", because I wish to be comprehensible to the modern. But it is wrong to suppose that she possesses such charm, except to a vitiated or inexperienced taste.
She is what is called "good-natured", because of her usually low intelligence, passes as "sporting" among her friends, has a very slight menstrual flow, which is usually irregular, is not troubled by sex (the silly phrase "has no nonsense about her" is the Puritanical and popular formula for this), is in every sense designed to be a neuter among neuters, and from the standpoint of offspring she is useless.
With people who try to forget about "that side of life" she is an easy favourite and, strange to say, often achieves triumphs against the rivalry of her superior.
According to Dr. Samuel R. Meaker, she is growing very common, and her condition is "a major factor in the causation of sterility". 3
Face and Features. Choose a good-looking girl and observe all the other physiognomical principles established in the earlier part of this book. Remember that a girl's face should be sleek and smooth, without the rough modelling becoming to a man. This does not mean that it should be angelic or seraphic (thymocentric). On the contrary, normal beauty demands pronounced signs of sensuality and positiveness. 4 But with all its evidences of animal passion, it must not be rugged, angular, bossed or busy,
1 A.R. .P. 55.
2 M.A.R., p. 497. Dr. Lenz says: "The reader must also be warned against that factitious youthfulness which is the result of infantilism, which imparts to girls even when nearing the thirties an almost childlike appearance, and which is known to exercise much fascination over many men. Such infantile women never attain to complete physical or mental maturity, and they age all the more quickly later on."
3 J.A.M.A., 16.8.30, pp. 468470. Also S.L.W., p. 497, where Kisch says of the infantile genitalia of this type: "This infantile condition is by no means extremely rare."
4 S.B., pp. 226227: "A woman who is devoid of a certain measure of animality and that by no means a small measure, must be regarded as degenerate."
The nose should not be very prominent or thin, the forehead should be vertical and never slanting, 1 the expression mild, i.e. neither truculent nor stern, the lips slightly everted, and the angle of the face may reveal slight prognathism without marring beauty. The eyebrows should be neither heavy nor straight, 2 and should not meet over the root of the nose. A curved pencil line broadening as it approaches the root of the nose is the ideal feminine eyebrow. Have nothing to do with girls whose eyebrows terminate half-way across the supra-orbital arch. 3 A large mouth does not disfigure, and is better than a small one.
The eyes should be doe-like and not too far from the nose. Small, very round-looking eyes are, as we have seen, a stigma of sexual undesirability. The jaw should be neither too heavy nor too square. Avoid the girl the points of whose jaw form the widest part of her mask. She will be brutal, masculoid and ruthless.
For the rest appeal to former chapters.
Finance. I need add only the following to the equivalent section in the last chapter: The belief that love flies out of the window when poverty comes in at the door is, to some extent, a purely middle-class superstition. But it is as old as Shakespeare, 4 and we must assume that in his time, as at present (though probably now more than ever), women, owing to the primary female instinct for good provisions for the brood, have always had difficulty in becoming attached to an impecunious man. If this instinctive inability to regard or admire the impecunious man gets magnified to a high power, as in the middle classes in an Age of luxury, by the fashion for display and smartness, it easily develops into a love of wealth as such. Hence the modern woman's inability to respect an impecunious father, or relative of any kind, and her corresponding inability to see any faults in a wealthy one. This explains why plutocratic Ages are generally feminist, and why the tendency to judge wholly according to money values prevails where women gain influence.
Gifts. Remember that nothing can be done with a stupid
1 This has been established in earlier chapters, and is confirmed by Stratz (D.S.W.K., p. 160).
2 A.R., p. 116. Men are cautioned against girls "dont les sourcils sont droits", other authorities have been given in former chapters.
3 This will be explained under Make-up.
4 WINTER'S TALE, IV, 4. "Prosperity's the very bond of love."
Academic diplomas are, therefore, no proof of intelligence. At most they are a proof of memory. Do not aim, therefore, at the much-diploma'd girl. A clever girl, without academic training, is much more likely to be a good practical wife, 1 and she will certainly not need to be over twenty, while the diploma'd girl will.
My own wife, a Girton girl, had to unlearn and forget all she had learnt at Girton, from the standard of food preparation there to the standard of knowledge of humanity, and now despises the academic form of learning with an inside knowledge of it.
A woman's most valuable gifts are, adaptibility, receptivity, supple intelligence, penetration, a deep concern about humanity even to the point of "scandal-mongering", and a taste for domestic and maternal duties. As compared with such gifts, academic knowledge is so much trash.
Hair. Almost all essentials have already been discussed. After stating that the normal woman has hair only in the armpits, above the genital cleft, and the front surfaces of the lower leg, "and this latter strongly developed only in brunettes", Dr. Bauer goes on to say: "If we find hair in other parts of the body, e.g., on the thighs, arms, etc., we can be quite certain that such women will show a tendency to grow hair on the upper lip, and these represent only some of the male attributes always found in women of this type." 2 This is more or less confirmed by Dr. Oskar Scheuer, who declares that the normal endocrine balance in the male promotes "the growth of hair on the body while arresting it on the head." 3 On the other hand. Dr. Scheuer also indicates an interesting correlation between sexual vigour and luxuriance of pate hair in woman. He says that of 964 seen by
1 "Il n'est aucun de nous," says Stendhal, "qui ne préférât, pour passer la vie avec elle, une servante â une femme savante." D.A., pp. 188189.
2 W., pp. 5859.
3 B.D.M., pp. 2023. Also P.S.D., p. 18: "The development of the hairy system in women may be regarded as a regression." See pp. 223224 above.
Choose a mate, therefore, whose pate hair is luxuriant, but whose body hair is restricted to the normal areas.
Hands. A large hand in a girl is more becoming than a small one. The bird-like, undersized claw of the women whom city life and idleness produce is hideous.
A woman's hand should also not be thin or bony, because this would be not only ugly but also indicative of asthenia.
Remember, too, that the suppleness of a girl's hand is a good index to the general suppleness of her body. A stiff, hard hand, as I have found, is not uncommonly associated with the type that has difficult confinements, and whose children are therefore either scarred, crippled (spastic hemi- or paraplegia), born dead, or victims of other forms of birth traumata.
Women with hard, stiff hands cannot be positive.
Head. As already shown, a woman's head should look smaller, relative to her body, than a man's does relative to his body. This is a specific feminine feature. Females with large heads should, therefore, be avoided, as having masculine elements. This is true also of the lower members of the mammalian order. In two books on cattle-breeding, the large-headed heifer is said to be a bad milker with male characters, such as small udders and teats, high back bones, and drawn-up bellies. 2 I have also found that the large-headed females among my cats are invariably bad mothers, leaving their kittens in the third or fourth week to seek the joys of fresh sexual congress.
A large head is, moreover, unbecoming in the female, and I have never yet seen a girl thus afflicted but she revealed other masculine features a square jaw, a stern expression, straight eyebrows, etc.
Choose, therefore, the girl with the small head.
Health. See equivalent section in the previous chapter.
Make-up. The first questions that puzzle the thoughtful male are: (1) Why, since the war, have all young women and girls taken to make up their faces? (2) Whom is the practice supposed
1 B.D.M., p. 25.
2 Youatt's CATTLE, p. 244, and Wedge's CHESHIRE, p. 251. See also P.S.D., p. 16: "The masculine woman's head has somewhat similar measurements to the man's and is much larger than in [normal] woman." Other characteristics are "shoulders large and pelvis and breasts little developed."
The answer to (1) is, no one can tell.
The answer to (2) is, presumably only the girls themselves, because no man I have ever met has said he likes it.
The answer to (3) is, the vested interests behind the sale of cosmetics, face washes, dyes, etc.
The universality of the practice, the fact that the women of ancient Egypt and Rome, of Japan and China and of Europe (certainly in the Middle Ages and the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) 1 all used or use cosmetics, or plucked out their eyebrows, or adopted other means of supposed embellishment, does not justify it, for reasons which will be adduced.
In Europe, for instance, there was once a widespread and brutal practice of flattening out the breasts of adolescent girls. In China millions of women stunt the growth of their feet, and among savages, rings are inserted into lips, noses and ears, and teeth are blackened, knocked out, or filed down all for the alleged purpose of embellishment.
Nobody, aware of the relativity of taste, would venture to argue that black teeth, or filed-down teeth, or plucked-out eyebrows, are actually ugly. This valuation is subject to the vagaries of human taste, and if you are used to seeing a girl's lip project a few inches, owing to an inserted ring, you would regard as ugly the girl whose lip did not thus project.
On the pure question of taste, therefore, one cannot argue that make-up is absolutely ugly or beautiful. I merely ask, whom does it please? And I reply, no man I have ever known.
Personally I prefer my partners in erotic pastimes to be "femmes nature", to use the French culinary jargon, and I find most men like me in this respect. The use of cosmetics would, therefore, appear to rest on a feminist assertion of female rights independent of male taste. And it is curious that, in Europe at least, the custom is often seen to prevail in feminist Ages.
Even old La Bruyère in the seventeenth century took much the same view as I do.
"Si les femmes," he says, "veulent seulement être belles à leurs propres yeux et se plaire à elles-mêmes, elles peuvent sans doute, dans la manière de s'embellir . . . suivre leur goût et leur caprice; mais
1 It was also customary among the ancient Jews. In TAL. (MOED QATAN 9b) we read: "A woman may employ beautifying measures. . . . She may paint her eyes, she may curl her hair, and she may put cosmetics on her face."
According to my own and my male friends' view, it is an unsavoury habit, and therefore conflicts with one of the first prerequisites of beauty described above. 2 Excusable as it may be in middle-aged women (though when they are mothers it seems ridiculous in them too), it is inexcusable and an act of sheer vandalism in girls under twenty, and if such girls could appreciate how sadly it disfigures them, they would immediately drop it.
On the purely hygienic aspects of the practice, medical opinion is divided on some points and agreed on others.
Dr. R. M. B. McKenna condemns certain cold creams made from crude paraffin, owing to the latter's cancer-producing properties. He claims that glycerine is the deleterious factor in vanishing creams, because "it is absorbed by the skin, and being powerfully hygroscopic must upset the metabolism of the superficial cells of the epidermis. This action is intensified by the mildly astringent action of hamamelis." Moreover, he claims that "the fat blocks the sebaceous and sweat glands". He condemns "wrinkle removers", and "skin foods", calls the eyebrow pencil a "dirty, but innocent habit", opposes the use of metallic dyes in conjunction with pyrogallic, and also aniline dyes, as dangerous, but admits a pure henna dye is harmless.
For hair-bleaching he condones hydrogen peroxide and condemns potassium cyanide and oxalic acid. 3
Dr. Alice Carleton joins issue with him chiefly on the question of cold creams and vanishing creams. After experiments on a number of female collaborators, she concludes that these substances do not block the sebaceous and sweat glands, and do not lead to acne rosacea and acne vulgaris. She argues that cold cream is cleansing, that the fat in so-called "skin nourishing creams "is absorbed, and that vanishing cream does not produce dryness. If, however, cold and vanishing creams contain lead
1 L.C. Section: "Les Femmes", para. 6.
2 See B.M.J., 24.6.33, where Dr. R. M. B. McKenna says: "I still believe the definition 'clean . . free from foreign matter', and a skin is not clean which is wiped down with cold cream, massaged with vanishing cream, and then powdered, being left coated with a layer of grease to which dust, as well as toilet powder readily adhere."
3 B.M.J., 17.5.30, pp. 900902.
She denies that depilatories and wrinkle removers are harmful, except in the form of paraffin injections and painting with 65 per cent solution of phenol. She condemns henna because it makes the hair brittle, metallic dyes because they may be absorbed and cause chronic poisoning, compounds of metallic salts and pyrogallic acid because they are toxic and irritant, aniline derivatives because they cause severe and persistent dermatitis, possibly too gastro-intestinal and nervous symptoms (several fatal cases are recorded) and hydrogen peroxide as injurious to the hair shaft. As to hair lotions, she cautions women against quinine, salicylic acid and resorcin, as injurious if too strong. 1
If all this is true, however, we may be pardoned for asking how poor, ignorant girls can possibly apply the knowledge, even if they had it, in buying their cosmetics, especially the cheaper qualities.
Other experts report as follows:
Dr. W. Bab condemns henna as a darkener for eyebrows and eyelashes. It led to purulent conjunctivities in his cases, sometimes followed by more alarming symptoms. 2 He says: "The ophthalmologist is frequently consulted for acute and chronic irritations of the eyes, which can be traced to cosmetic procedures." 3
Dr. Lester Hollander gives a long list of the causative factors which may be suspected in dermatitis, from hair tonics and dyes to depilatories, deodorants and perfumes. 4
Dr. Sigmund Grünbaum describes a case of dermatoconjunctivitis due to Lash Lure (an eyelash and eyebrow dye), and says: "Intolerance of the conjunctiva and eyelids to mascara [lamp black] is well-known, "but rarely produces more than itching or burning. But actual dying of the lashes is dangerous. 5
Drs. Samuel Ayres and Nelson Paul Anderson state they have found the parasitic organism Demodex folliculorum in the majority of their patients suffering from acne rosacea and the allied condition (pityriasis folliculorum), and their material consisted of 72 cases of both conditions. And they say: "It is felt that the excessive use of cold creams and powder and the substitution of cleansing
1 Ibid., 10.6.33, pp. 10001001.
2 Ibid., 21.10.33, p. 65.
3 J.A.M.A., 16.9.33, pp. 962963.
4 Ibid., 22.7.33, pp. 259 et seq.
5 Ibid., 29.7.33, pp. 363364. See also a case of dermato-ophthalmitis due to the same cause, reported by Dr. C. E. Horner and other similar cases. (Ibid., 11.11.33, pp. 15581561).
This is independent confirmation of Dr. McKenna's views, and rather invalidates Dr. Alice Carleton's objections to them.
Regarding the lipstick habit, in addition to its "unsavouriness", cases appear to be known, in which lending a lipstick has proved dangerous. Drs. Buschke and A. Joseph report a case of syphilis contracted in this way; 2 but other ailments less grave, though also disagreeable might with equal ease be similarly conveyed.
There seems to be little doubt, therefore, that, on the whole, cosmetics are to be condemned on hygienic grounds. But by far the gravest charge to be advanced against them is that they work dysgenically by concealing in the prospective mate characters such as complexion, pigmentation, form, colour and luxuriance of eyebrows, which may be important indications of health and constitution.
Hypertrichosis which, as I have shown, is an important tell-tale character in the female, is now also being removed by electrolysis; 3 but who can doubt that such a procedure is in more than one sense a barefaced fraud? For if by electrolysis a reader of this book, trying to apply his knowledge, is deceived and marries a girl who really has hypertrichosis, a fraud is perpetrated which certainly has more serious results than a financial crime of the same nature.
I have already drawn attention to the dysgenic effect of plastic and cosmetic surgery; but is not the danger of cosmetics and electrolysis equally serious?
Take such a significant feature as the eyebrow, of which I have already spoken in detail. If it is imperfect and reaches only half-way across the supra-orbital arch, it indicates a condition most serious for the future of the girl concerned and for her children namely, hypothyroidism.
This "eyebrow sign" or "signe du sourcil" as Hertoghe called it, "consists in a rarification, amounting sometimes to complete absence of the hair in the outer two-thirds of the eyebrow." 4 And, seeing that the thyroid gland is most important in gestation and lactation, for "lactation is dependent upon a due supply of thyroid secretion", 5 the consequences of obliterating this eye-
1 Ibid., 4.3.33, pp. 645647.
2 Ibid., 1.12.28, p. 1417.
3 Ibid., 29.7.33, p. 391.
4 Dr. L. Williams (op. cit., p. 266).
5 Ibid., p. 253. For other symptoms and consequences of hypothryoidism, see relevant section above.
But to-day we have both practices in full swing. Not only are the hairs extracted to produce a curve where there was a straight line, or to remove the eyebrow entirely and leave a blank for the pencilling of an artificial one, but we also have eyebrow painting.
Stratz says: "Eyebrows that are long and end in a point are beautiful, but those that join up at the root of the nose are ugly", and he adds: "a satisfactory reason for this cannot be found." 1 If, however, he had studied Kretschmer's schizophrene, 2 he would have had at least a biological, if not an æsthetic, reason for condemning eyebrows that grow together.
It is no reply to the arguments advanced here to point to the great civilizations of the near and distant past in which female make-up and eyebrow plucking has been practised, 3 because it is only comparatively recently that Natural Selection has been seriously interfered with by scientific medicine and surgery. When, owing to the elementary state of the latter, natural processes eliminate the abnormal, it does not matter whether tell-tale morphological signs are tampered with or not; because, in the end, if sound values prevail, the sound will be the selected survivors and will determine the mature of posterity.
When, however, we find, as we do to-day, that thanks to countless artificial aids, it is possible to breed from the unsound, it becomes of paramount importance that all robust individuals, who cherish ideals of human desirability, should be able, in spite of the sick and morbid values of the Age, to select a mate who will not defeat their eugenic aims, and their will to do well by their children. But how can they do this unless there is absolute honesty, and no suppression, by either cosmetic surgery or applied cosmetics, of self-revelatory features?
Apart from the injury cosmetics may inflict on those who use them, and from the distaste they arouse in most men, we may, therefore, claim that we are not healthy enough at present to put up with any gerrymandering with our prospective mate's morphological characters. Consequently, cosmetic surgery and products do but add more pitfalls to a path sufficiently strewn
1 D.S.W.K., p. 183.
2 See pp. 277 and 280281 supra.
3 Apart from evidence about other cultures, Capt. F. Brinkley tells us that eyebrow plucking, in females and males, was a common practice during the military period in Japan. (JAPAN, ITS HISTORY, ARTS AND LITERATURE, London, 1903, II, pp. 91 and 104). We also know it was practised during the Renaissance in Europe (Dr. G. Groddeck: DER MENSCH ALS SYMBOL, Vienna, 1933, p. 48).
If a man deliberately selects a girl with the "eyebrow sign", he may, if he chooses, encourage her subsequently to paint over, or disguise, the stigma. And, if a girl deliberately chooses a man with hideous prognathism or hare-lip, she may, if she likes, urge him, after marriage, to have his disfigurement surgically attenuated. But both would have acted with their eyes open and would have only themselves to blame for any distressing results.
The fact, however, that to-day, owing to cosmetic surgery and cosmetics, an innocent party may be led blindly into marriage with a partner whose natural stigmata, uninterfered with, would have revealed some congenital trouble, is a public scandal which only an Age of Socratic degenerates would put up with.
All men should, therefore, make a stand against cosmetics and manifest their preference for the girls who do not use make-up, by favouring them in every possible way.
Manners. See the equivalent section in the previous chapter.
Muscular Development. The cultivation of muscular strength in a woman as an end in itself amounts to athleticism, and concerning the female athlete the following facts should be considered.
(1) That there is probably a relation between her athletic tastes and her constitution, and, if so, she may be suspected of male elements.
(2) That if her tastes are not athletic, and athleticism has been forced upon her by (a) a school curriculum, (b) a desire to emulate friends, or to be fashionable, or (c) inferiority feelings which, in a society whose standards discredit the specifically feminine, lead her to seek compensations by a strenuous cultivation of masculine pastimes, then the pursuit of athleticism cannot leave her undamaged, even though it be opposed to her taste.
Let me consider (1) first.
Drs. E. Düntzer and M. Hellendall examined the physique of 1500 female participants in a gymnastic contest, whose ages ranged from 15 to 38. The muscular type prevailed among them, and pelvimetry revealed that the majority had comparatively small pelves. But the investigators state that this was not due to the bodily exercise, but to the fact "that women who are
Dr. Stephen Westmann, after a study of the data up to 1930, thinks that the majority of female sports enthusiasts are congenitally masculine. "I am of the opinion," he says, "that the women observed by me as a gynæcologist, and by Bach and others as anthropometrists, were of a kind who, on the whole, were congenitally of a male type, and on the basis of other observations I have come to the conclusion that, with few exceptions, all women, as Franzmeyer has already shown, who are conspicuous in competitive sports, belong to this type." He claims further that this has been proved by the records of the German Central Sports and Games Board, in the tests applied for the female honours candidates in German gymnastics and sports contests; for it was the women with slim and slender proportions and narrow pelves who more or less easily passed these severe tests, closely approximating to the male standard of achievement. 2
He asks whether it is desirable to multiply this type. If, however, he had seen the facts advanced in Chapter III, Part II, above, he would have known that in Europe we have been aiming at this type, off and on, for almost 2500 years. And, taking these facts in conjunction with what he and others I have just quoted now say, the conclusion seems justified that a correlation exists between athletic tastes in woman and congenital masculinism of form. 3
Now to the second point the extent to which the steady pursuit of athletics may develop masculine characters even in girls whose morphology and tastes are not originally athletic, and who have gone in for sport, gymnastics and violent outdoor games for the reasons stated.
In a former work, I suggested that "in young girls Nature makes an effort to compensate the excessive demands made by violent sports in the muscles and bony structure of the legs and pelvis, by proceeding to a premature stiffening of the fleshy and
1 J.A.M.A., 4.1.30.
2 F.F., p. 15.
3 An interesting light is shed on this conclusion by the recent doubts expressed by Mr. B. C. Sims, Manager of the South African Games Team, regarding the sex of certain foreign female competitors in the Women's World Games at the White City, Shepherd's Bush, in August, 1934. He declared that "some of the foreigners gave an impression of masculinity", and added that "some of the British girls spoke to him about it". Miss Eileen Crockart, who represented South Africa in the field events in London, endorsed Mr. Sims' views. She said: "We often thought they were men athletes when we saw them on the track. There was no doubt, however, that they were women." (See Daily Press, 21.9.34.)
Dr. Stephan Westmann, apparently unaware of this difference between sailors and soldiers, says: "The female infant's pelvis has the tendency to grow normally by developing in width. The muscles attached to the pelvic bones, particularly those round the pelvis which, originating at the rump, attach themselves to the thigh bones, may and this possibility cannot be dismissed off-hand act constrictively and formatively like a corset on the developing pelvis, if they have been excessively strengthened and hardened by much physical exercise." And he adds, "this perhaps explains why the pelvimetric records of an investigator like Bach, for instance, revealed a preponderance of narrow pelves among female gymnasts and sportswomen who have engaged in prize-contests." 3
This would suggest that such women would be bad mothers, i.e. physically ill-adapted for parturition. G. J. Engelmann, the American gynæcologist, believed this, and as a result of a study of English and American gymnastic teachers, circus artists, etc., he found that "excessive development of the muscular system is certainly unfavourable to maternity, for it would seem to be a fact that women who exercise all their muscles excessively meet with increased difficulties in parturition." 4
Dr. Strassman takes a wider view and says that his experience and that of every doctor practising midwifery, proves that "women who go in for athletics, and artistes who perform in variety shows, are the very type who often have very difficult confinements." 5 Düntzer and Hellendall, on the other hand, did not find confinements difficult in their material, except in one case, 6 though the consensus of expert opinion is on Westmann's side.
Mr. Meyrick Booth has collected an impressive number of data and arguments 7 to the effect that in athletic women a general stiffening and constriction of the pelvic area probably occurs, and
1 W.V., p. 114.
2 D.O.M., p. 32.
3 F.F., p. 14.
4 T.O.S. . p. 44.
5 F.F., p. 26. Dr. Westmann advances a mass of evidence. His whole book should be read, and an English translation is badly needed.
6 J.A.M.A., 4.1.30.
7 See WOMAN AND SOCIETY (London, 1929, Chap. III), also YOUTH AND SEX (London, 1932, p. 160 et seq.).
We may also ask, if the pelvic development is interfered with by athletics, as seems probable, are the sexual functions also? An investigation recently carried out by Dr. Augusta Hoffmann seems to show that menstruation certainly is. She observed 87 students training to be teachers of athletics and 127 students training as laboratory technicians, photographers and metallographers. Only one-third of the latter group took some form of gymnastic exercise twice a week or more, but the amount taken was in any case less than that taken by the group of 87. Before the training began, the girls of Group I, who are said to have been of "a better physical type" [readers of this book may well wonder what is meant by this nowadays], showed irregularities in the menstrual cycle to the extent of only 5.6 per cent of their number, whereas in Group II the percentage was 15.7 and the girls entirely free from complaints was 74.7 per cent in Group I and 34.6 per cent in Group II. In the course of the training, however, "the picture changed". Of the students training for technical occupations only five developed irregularities in menstruation, in one of whom the change followed gymnastic activity. Leucorrhea developed in three, in two of them in connexion with athletic activities.
Of the athletic girls (Group I) 25 developed menstrual irregularities and interruptions of up to nine weeks occurred, particularly during intensive training. Painful menstruation was reported by 28 of the students, and leucorrhea developed in 14. 2 These findings are confirmed by an inquiry recently carried out in Japan, whither female athleticism, together with the other Western miasmas, including Christianity and Hellenism, has of course spread in the last half century.
Professor M. Iwata, of the Nohon Medical College, examined 418 girls who had won championships in sports and games. 86.9 per cent began athletics before 14, and 86.7 per cent before the menarche. And whereas cases of menstrual irregularities in schoolgirls in general averaged 32.6 to 37.9 per cent, those of the female athletes were 50.6 per cent. Pain with menstruation
1 MED. PRESS, 27.6.27. Also P.P.M., pp. 5153, for Heape's view against violent exercise for women. Dr. Arabella Kenealy (op. cit., Book 1, Chap. V, and Book II, Chap. III) also has much to say on the evil results of athleticism in women.
2 J.A.M.A., 8.7.33, pp. 178179.
Drs. Dünzter and Hellendall found in their material of 1500 female gymnasts, that "the majority of women who reported unfavourable effects [in menstruation] stated that the harmful effects could be traced to strenuous exertion." 2
These findings are confirmed by Dr. Stephan Westmann, who gives many more facts than I have quoted, in support of them; 3 so that there seems to be little doubt that as might have been expected, function as well as morphology is affected by athleticism in females.
Dr. J. H. Paton also adduces many facts and arguments in support of this view. He shows that in the school from which his figures are drawn, of 78 girls questioned at the age of 17, only 43 experienced regular menstruation, that intermittent amenorrhea was the type of irregularity present, and that, on inquiry, "it is commonly found that a normal period occurs during the holidays in girls who are amenorrhic during the school term." He adds: "In my opinion, the cause of this defect is to be looked for in the long hours of continuous effort, mental and physical, in posed upon the adolescent girl by the modern school curriculum." Earlier in the paper he questions the validity of the claim that the continuance of active games during menstruation leads to no harm. 4
The conclusion from the above data is that, in addition to the small-hipped, masculoid girls who, in any event, would drift by taste and proclivity to gymnastic and violent sports, there is a large contingent of normal girls whom the athletic pastimes themselves probably render masculoid, and this surmise is supported, in addition to the other evidence I have adduced, by the very interesting suggestion of Dr. Riddle, quoted above, 5 to the effect that the increased metabolism induced in the female by athletic pursuits is unfavourable to her normal development and reproductive functions.
When confronted by a girl whose hard muscles and athletic proficiency are manifest, the reader would therefore seem to be entitled to infer either that her tastes and morphology were
1 Ibid., 26.8.33, p. 723.
2 Ibid., 4.1.30.
3 F.F., pp. 1620.
4 B.M.J., 10.9.27 (op. cit., pp. 444445).
5 Pp. 287288 and note 2, p. 374 supra.
Nationality. Same as self.
Occupation. Regarding the list of occupations and the health of those who follow them, given in the equivalent section to this in the previous chapter, Professor G. Dreyer and G. F. Hanson say: "The same kind of grouping may apply to females, though a relatively larger number of women will be found to belong to Class C." 1
As to the general question whether one's wife should after marriage continue an occupation outside the home, the whole object of marriage, as it has been defined in this book, is surely inconsistent with any such arrangement.
It is difficult to give statistical proof of the claim that conjugal happiness is marred by a wife's work outside the home. But one careful investigator certainly found that this was so. "Of the 922 women [in Miss K. B. Davis's material) who answered the question as to gainful occupation after marriage, 239, or 25 per cent., were so engaged . . . the largest in any one occupation were teachers," And Miss Davis says: "We feel safe . . . in saying that as to the groups studied, occupation outside the home during married life is not conducive to married happiness." 2 And again: "Demonstrably significant and apparently militating against the happiness of married life are spooning, sex intercourse before marriage, and occupation outside the home after marriage." 3
This is scant support of my contention; but it confirms an a priori and rather obvious conclusion which, on rational grounds, seems to me to be unassailable.
Pigmentation. See the equivalent section in the previous chapter, and apply the conclusion to the opposite sex.
Proportions. The ground has already been covered fairly exhaustively in Chapter III, Part II, and in the equivalent section of the previous chapter. In any case, I need hardly refer again to the head, or to the trunk-leg and shoulder-pelvis ratios, 4 and,
1 A.P.F., p. 17, foot-note.
2 F.I.L.T., pp. 6, 7, and 44.
3 Ibid., p. 59.
4 Interesting tables lately confirmatory of my own findings on these questions are given by Hirschfeld (G.K., I, p. 401), as follows:
- p. 482 -
In the words of Walter Heape, the female "requires rounded limbs and full hips and breasts, not lean flanks and flat chest," 1 i.e. in contemplating the female figure, we should be able to note at once its specific differences from our own. The head should be relatively smaller, the trunk relatively larger, the legs relatively shorter, the shoulders narrower and the pelvis larger than they are in us. Finally, we should find the characteristic knock-kneed appearance caused by the broad base of the pelvis from which the thigh bones descend.
"The nether limbs," says Dr. Heilborn, "reveal a distinct massiveness and shortness of the thighs, this condition being perhaps accentuated in appearance by the greater width of the pelvis. Together with this essentially different form in comparison with man, the lower limbs are not straight, but incline inwards above the knee . . . so that you have unmistakable X-legs, or, as in popular language, knock-knees." 2
All this is not only true but, in regard to the desirable woman, admirably described. Unfortunately, Dr. Heilborn ruins the effect of his analysis of the sex-differences in bodily proportion by the following ridiculous outburst:
"The natural" knock-knees of the woman are, æsthetically, the greatest blemish in the figure of the small 'narrow-shouldered, wide-hipped and short-legged sex'." 3
What does this absurd and confused remark mean? Havelock Ellis, the shrewdest and ablest of the feminists, who always
2 T.O.S., p. 13. Also S.P.W., p. 154. "In woman the pelvis is wider and the upper ends of the thigh-bones are consequently farther apart. Then since the femora must come together at the knees they have a greater obliquity in women."
3 T.O.S., p. 14.
On what scientific grounds do Heilborn and Havelock Ellis then speak of this female leg as if it broke some well-established canon? None whatever! There is no æsthetic canon, according to which a straight human leg is more beautiful than one that comes down obliquely to the knee and then turns out again.
The back legs of a dog, a lion, a kangaroo, and a cow are not straight. Are they, therefore, any the less beautiful? What is behind this talk about an alleged æsthetic canon that condemns the normal female leg?
The reader ought surely to be able to guess.
These people Goethe, Schopenhauer, Heilborn and Havelock Ellis (and millions more I cannot name) are all unconsciously dupes either of the male-homosexual ideal of the Greeks, which saw beauty only in the male form, or else of the typically feminist attitude of male-worship which aims as far as possible at assimilating the female to the male in all things. And, in view of Havelock Ellis's feminist leanings, it would seem as if, in his case at least, the latter alternative suggested were probably correct.
I say, and I am probably the first to say, and shall therefore get no thanks for it, that these people who, parrot-like, repeat the Hellenic condemnation of the female's shape and proportions as being unæsthetic, do not know what they are talking about.
Once and for all, there is absolutely nothing in æsthetics or the theory of beauty to justify this supposed inferiority of woman's normal form in the hierarchy of æsthetic desirability. On a sane heterosexual basis, one might just as plausibly argue that the respective beauty of the two sexes is equal, or that that of woman is greater, 2 as argue that that of man necessarily sets the standard. For, if we are to have a unisexual standard, why
1 M.W., p. 50. Havelock Ellis nevertheless maintains accurately elsewhere (S.P.S., IV, pp. 164165) that "amongst most people of Europe, Asia and Africa, the chief continents of the world, the large hips and buttocks of women are commonly regarded as an "important feature of beauty", and "broad hips, which involve a large pelvis, are necessarily a characteristic of the highest human races, because the races with the largest heads must be endowed also with the largest pelves to enable their large heads to enter the world".
2 Finck, foolishly, actually does this. R.L.P.M., II, p. 127: "From eighteen to twenty-five woman is more beautiful than man."
A woman's functions demand a broader pelvis than man's. But is suitability to function to be a ground for a charge of æsthetic defect? Is the cart-horse ugly because the race-horse is beautiful?
Woman's legs start from a broader base than man's, but another specific feature in her, which adds to the breadth of her hips and to the obliquity of her legs, is the peculiar construction of the head of her thigh-bone.
As is well known, a lateral neck projects from the top end of the human thigh-bone, and this has a globular head, or condyle, which fits into a socket in the pelvis. Now, in the male, this neck is said by many to be at an obtuse angle to the shaft, but in the female to be almost at a right angle. 1 This would naturally accentuate the effects described.
But whether this is so or not, a woman normally has a broader pelvic area than a man, and her legs descend in a way that gives them a knock-kneed appearance. To call this ugly and to try to modify it in the direction of male standards, is, I humbly suggest, Hellenic and modern stupidity. 2
"We will have her with good hippes, I mean,
For she will bear good sons, to mine intent." 3
Thus spoke the rhyming chronicler, Hardyng, of the Bishop of Hereford's mission to Flanders to choose a wife for Edward III, and thus every man would speak whose taste has not been tainted by the morbid tradition of Hellenism, or by feminist doctrine.
What we chiefly need to-day, therefore, is an æsthetic cult freed from unconscious Hellenic bias, and sufficiently enlightened not
1 Langer disputes this (op. cit., p. 229). and says the angle of the neck of the femur has nothing to do with sex. Stratz suggests that an approach to the right angle at this point may occur in either sex owing to the weight of the body bearing on rachitic bones (D.S.W.K., p. 315).
2 As a proof of the benighted application of masculine standards to girls, I quote the following case. A perfectly normally formed girl of my acquaintance was made, on the advice of her gymnastic master, to stand for a certain time every day with a dumbbell between her knees, with the object of trying to push them out, the ignorant fellow having assured her parents that, as she could not stand with her heels together without her knees overlapping, she was knock-kneed, a defect he tried to correct by the method described. As, in view of the monstrous nature of this fact, the reader may conceivably question its authenticity, the girl in question, now an adult, has promised me to confirm the story personally if asked to do so.
3 CHAUCER AND HIS ENGLAND, by G. G. Coulton (London, 1921, p. 183).
We require, in fact, a canon that will enable us to admire normal female beauty as such, and to banish from our minds the pernicious nonsense which, rooted in ancient Greece, has descended to the present day to blossom forth in pseudo-scientific treatises. 1
The reader should not, therefore, shun the young woman of normal proportions so unfashionable to-day. On the contrary, remembering that morphology and psychology are not to be separated, he should learn to admire her specific beauty, and select her for his mate.
Another important point to bear in mind is that endocrine disturbances leading to virilism, eunuchoidism, infantilism, etc., are by no means the only causes of skeletal abnormalities which may prevent a girl from turning out a normally functioning mother. A woman may appeal perfectly normal, and there may be nothing wrong with her endocrine balance, and yet her pelvis may be deformed in such a way as to render child-birth difficult for her. In such cases, the pelvis is usually rachitic that is to say, at some stage in her development she has had "rickets", and this has left its mark upon her, although it may require some acuteness to detect the condition of "rickets successfully overcome" in her limbs. She will not necessarily be bow-legged, for that would make the condition obvious, and of such a woman it could not be said that she "appeared perfectly normal". Stratz, however, maintains that in women with "rickets overcome" who superficially appear normal, certain signs are, nevertheless, apparent; and my own observation supports him in this. He says that if we examine the legs and arms of such women, we shall notice a thickening of the joints and odd curves above the ankles and the wrists, which are the traces of the former ailment. This is perfectly true, and I have verified this
1 Bloch is a notable exception. He says: "The observation of the physical differences between man and woman also teaches us the futility of the old disputes as to whether man's body or woman's was the more beautiful. The different tasks which lie before the male and female bodies respectively give rise to different development of individual parts. If the development is complete in its kind, the body is beautiful. . . . Masculine and feminine beauty are different. There can be no question regarding the superiority of one or the other." (S.L.O.T., pp. 64, 65.)
Osteomalachia and osteomyelitis are other causes of the same condition, but rickets is the commonest, and Stratz says it occurs in 30 per cent of human beings. 2
Regarding the sitting-height-weight and chest ratio of the female, I shall now give Professor Dreyer's and G. F. Hanson's normal proportions, which, like the equivalent ratios for the male, I have found very helpful. The chest circumference should be taken just below the breasts. Their findings are as follows:
Stratz gives detailed proportions for the normal female figure, which are also worth quoting. He says the body height should equal 10 masks, or 9 hands, or 8 heads, or 7 foot-lengths. The brow should equal the height of mask. The arms should be three heads long, the legs four heads, and the shoulders two heads broad. And he suggests a formula for finding a woman's proper weight as follows: = weight in kilograms, or the body height (cm.) 105 = weight in kilograms. 4 Since the legs are, as we have seen, a variable feature, however, these formulæ seem less reliable than Professor Dreyer's standards above. Stratz, however, affirms that both formulæ are reliable.
1 D.S.W.K., pp. 113123, and 299, 316. See particularly figure 76, p. 122.
2 D.S.W.K., p. 130.
3 A.P.F., pp. 8889 and 9394.
4 D.S.W.K., pp. 103 and 459 (circumference in this case should be measured over the most prominent points of breasts.
"The palpebral fissure : width of mouth : face or mask = 2:3:5."
"The width of the mouth should be to the palpebral fissure as 3:2."
"The eyes should be one eye-width apart, so that the width between the outer corners of the eyes should be twice the width of the mouth." 1
"The wrists should be on a line with the pubes, and the elbows on a line with the narrowest point of the waist." 2 Finally, Stratz found that in 25 well-built women, the average proportions were:
Regarding the size of the breasts, it is curious to note that in mediæval Europe and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain, probably owing to the asceticism of Christianity, the women tried to prevent the development of their breasts. In Spain they achieved this end "by pressing plates of lead on the swelling breasts of young girls". . . who "were more ashamed of a developing breast than of any other physical deformity." 4
In recent times the absence of breasts among the girls of the Bregenzerwald appears to be due to a similar practice, except that their "mothers tie wooden plates on their daughters if they show a tendency to become conspicuous on account of prominent breasts."
Apparently this practice is also common among the Ossetes, a Caucasian people, and has spread all over the Tyrol. 5
Fortunately now, however, we have, in western Europe, at least (whatever the unfortunate savage may still have to suffer through missionaries), sufficiently humiliated the official representatives of Christianity for them no longer to dare to dictate to us what we shall do with our bodies, and to-day there is (except occasionally, i.e. among women of the masculoid or infantile type, or among women suffering acutely from the
1 Ibid., p. 191.
2 Ibid., p. 297.
3 Ibid., p. 148.
4 W., pp. 6263. See also S.P.S., IV, pp. 170172. D.S.W.K., p. 245, and R.L.P.B., II, p. 211.
5 W., p. 63. Also T.O.S., pp. 1920.
Nevertheless, over-development of the breast in a young English woman, is not beautiful, and pendulous breasts, the sign of motherhood, maturity 1 or adiposity, are unbecoming in a girl, whose breasts should be round, firm, resilient, and the right pointing right and the left pointing left. 2 Buffon was probably right when he said that lines drawn from the nipples to the hollow of the neck and to each other, should form an equilateral triangle, 3 which could not be if the breasts were pendulous. 4 Nor should it be supposed that the heavily-developed breast, as Schopenhauer imagined, is necessarily the best for motherhood. The normal breast, as described, is not heavy, and is usually the more efficient in lactation. 5
Race. Same as self.
Religion. If it is considered important, same as self. In any case, a man should have enough intellectual ascendancy over the girl of his choice to make his religion hers.
Stature. Everything essential has been said in the corresponding section of the previous chapter. Dr. I. Bloch confirms most of it. He says: "The mean stature of woman is somewhat less than that of man", and he sets the European difference at 4 3/4 ins. Among the savage races of Brazil, he says the average difference was found to be 4.14 ins. 6 The reader should, moreover, remember what was said in Chapter III, Part II. Unless she come from a normally tall stock, a tall girl, especially if she have a male trunk-leg ratio, is to be suspected of masculine elements, eunuchoidism, or genital hypoplasia.
1 Stratz insists, however, that no deformation of a fine breast need necessarily follow motherhood. (D.S.W.K., pp. 256260.)
2 M.W., p. 44.
3 DAS SEXUELLE PROBLEM (Edit. by Dr. E. Mertens, Munich, 1910, pp. 106, 107).
4 Magian says (S.P.W., p. 47): "The breasts are firm and elastic in consistency, and should stand out without drooping unless they are unusually large, or the girl is either very stunted or thin." On this question Stratz is helpful. He confirms most of above, and I have based my remarks largely on him (D.S.W.K., pp. 25126l).
5 Stratz (D.S.W.K., p. 259) says: "The most vigorous breasts, which preserve their original beauty longest are the small, not too prominent ones that are set high in the chest, are beautifully rounded and have firm and strongly developed muscles. These are the breasts most highly prized by midwives for their yield, and they are given the name of 'fleshy' breasts [presumably as opposed to fat breasts); for experience has told them that breasts of this kind (consisting chiefly of glandular tissue) are richer in milk than the large soft fatty breasts." (See also D.S.W.K., pp. 90 and 98.)
6 S.L.O.T., p. 61.
Temperament. Most essentials have been discussed under Erotic Disposition. The reader should look out sharply for possible forms of sublimation (this, of course, applies only to women out of their teens) indulged in by a prospective mate, and I do not think that excessive dancing should be overlooked. Balzac, a notable sex-psychologist, said of dancing, that it is one of the causes of frigidity, 1 and he was probably right. In a virgin of over 21, a passionate attachment to dancing is fairly certain to be a form of compensation.
Few people seem to appreciate that dancing is essentially a vestibular occupation. It is a preliminary to that closer acquaintance which terminates in love; it is to some extent the play of secondary sexual characteristics. If, therefore, it does not ultimately lead to consummation, as it does not in the majority of cases in modern society, it constitutes a process of stimulation and excitation undergone as an end in itself. Thus it may, if made a habit, become a fixed though inadequate means of satisfaction, because there is no other.
Innocuous and even healthy and stimulating as it may be in a young virgin, in an older spinster it is more likely to have become a sublimating expedient, which, by diverting some of her libido from normal sex expression may render her frigid towards the heterosexual appeal if such should come along.
The reader should also be warned against the frigid woman, discussed in Chapter III, Part II. Wieth-Knudsen gives, some interesting data, which is largely confirmatory of what is there said about the frequency of this frigid woman in our midst.
He claims that in every 100 women
20 per cent are Frigidissimæ, or cold women with total sexual anæsthesia.
25 per cent are Frigidæ, or indifferent women with partial sexual anæsthesia.
30 per cent are Frigidæ, or compliant women with partial sexual anæsthesia.
15 per cent are Warm.
10 per cent are Passionate. 2
Voice. I have not yet known a woman with a rough, deep
1 P.M., p. 177.
2 F., p. 104.
Widows. The desirability of widows as mates turns on the answer to various questions, the chief of which is, Is telegony a fact? And by telegony is meant an influence exercised by the psycho-physical characters of a woman's first mate upon the psycho-physical characters of her offspring by a second or third mate.
An animated controversy has raged about this question for generations, and although official science has decided that telegony is a myth, and, therefore, that to marry a widow who is a mother is, from the standpoint of one's future children, of no consequence, the man who is race-conscious and anxious to have children who owe their characters only to his own and his wife's stocks, may like to hear what can now be said on both sides.
The old belief may be given in the words of Edward Hartmann, who, in 1886, said: "A mother has to live for some time in an interchange of blood with a second body, whose composition is only half-conditioned by qualities inherited from the mother, the other half being contributed by paternally inherited characteristics. She has, therefore, partly nourished her system with blood, owing half its nature to her husband, and in this way has assimilated some of the peculiarities of the latter. . . . The husband of a widow does not, therefore, find a clean page, but one written over by his predecessor, with whose hereditary tendencies his own must enter into conflict." 2
In other words, the belief was that a woman was infected by her first mate, and that the infection modified subsequent children by another mate.
The case, however, is not as simple as Hartmann states; for there is no direct communication between the blood of the mother and that of the growing ftus. Dr. Otto Grosser says: "Maternal blood can never be directly introduced into the ftus; the circulatory channels can never directly anostomose. . . . The first reason is the impossibility for the embryonal vessels to sustain maternal blood pressure, at least in the beginning of the development." The second is, "we know that the structure of
1 Op. cit. p. 58.
2 THE SEXES COMPARED (trans. by A. Kenner, M.A., London, 1895, pp. 1213).
Darwin, who referred to one or two well-attested instances of telegony in horses, pigs, dogs and sheep, did not think the effects noticed could be due to any strong influence on the imagination of the mother, or to "the close attachment and freely intercommunicating bloodvessels between the modified embryo and and mother"; but, from the analogy of "the action of foreign pollen on the ovarium, seedcoats and other parts of the mother plant", thought that with animals "the male clement acts directly on the female, and not through the crossed embryo." 2
Dr. James Cossar Ewart, however, who set to work to test the truth of the theory based on the historical cases of alleged telegony, came to the conclusion that there was no evidence, at least in the animals he used, to indicate that a female could be infected by one mate to the extent of transmitting the latter's characters to her offspring by a subsequent mate.
Elaborate experiments were carried out with a richly striped Burchell zebra and a number of mares, and with zebra mares and horses. I cannot describe here what was actually done, but suffice it to say that, as far as it went, the work led to the conclusion that the apparent and alleged cases of telegony were really examples of reversion, and that a female cannot be infected in the way that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, W. B. Carpenter and G. J. Romanes supposed. 3 Dr. Ewart further claims that this rule is true also of dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, sheep and cattle, fowls and pigeons. 4
In spite of the Penycuik experiments, some modern scientific men, however, still seem to believe in telegony, as this passage from Dr. Van de Velde shows: "By reason of the close associ-
1 HUMAN AND COMPARATIVE PLACENTATION (LANCET, 13.5.33, p. 999).
2 V.A.P.U.D., I., pp. 435437. Also II, p. 361.
3 THE PENYCUIK EXPERIMENTS (London, 1899). The book gives a summary of the views of experts like Weissmann, Herbert Spencer, and Romanes on the subject.
4 R.B., 11th Ed., Art.: "Telegony", p. 510.
Professor J. Orth also .appears to believe in some such influence, at least in animals and man, although he gives only one remarkable instance of it in man. He says: "A man with an abnormality of the genital organ, which had already shown itself in three generations, married a woman of a healthy family, and not related to him, who bore him three children, all of whom inherited the same malformation, transmitting it in part eventually to their descendants. The same woman, though not hereditarily affected, married subsequently another man, who was also healthy and not hereditarily affected, and bore him four children, every one. of whom exhibited the malformation of her first husband." Orth explains the phenomenon, not as due to the woman's mental impressions, but to the effect on her of the first husband's seed, "which never reached any ova", and dissolved itself "in the woman's body and became part and parcel other." 2
Dr. Hirschfeld, who does not mention Dr. Ewart, also thinks telegony a possibility in animals, but believes that, where it seems to appear in man, it is due to woman's tendency to accept as a second mate a man who resembles her first love hence the children's apparent resemblance to the latter. 3 Professor Karl Pearson, on the other hand, points out that if telegony were a fact, the younger children of the same sire would show an increased tendency to resemble him, whereas this is not the case. 4 And Dr. Otto Grosser says definitely that the theory of telegony "has been proved to be erroneous". 5
The consensus of authoritative opinion to-day is certainly against the theory of telegony. If, however, we enter deeply into the data and experiments on which a section of this scientific view is founded, we shall find many difficulties.
(1) There is the omission of the clement of nervous impressions (particularly in Man), to which Dr. Rohleder seems the only scientist to call attention. 6
1 S.H.I.M., p. 91.
2 M.D., p. 37.
3 G.K., I, p. 413. Cf. Bourget (P.A.M., p. 70): "Chaque femme n'aime jamais qu'un seul et même homme."
4 G.S., pp. 461462.
5 Op. cit., p. 999.
6 O.K., I, p. 413.
(3) Professor Karl Pearson's observations appear to have been directed only to stature, which we know is most variable from numerous causes not directly traceable to parental stature. Would not other characters perhaps reveal an increasing resemblance to the sire in the younger children?
(4) It seems as if Professor Otto Grosser overestimates the efficacy of the placenta as a separation between the ftus and the mother. We are certainly not confronted in this structure by a hermetically sealed partition, and does not Parasitology teach us that certain parasites and the ftus is a parasite on the mother affect their host by their secretions, although less intimately connected with it?
On these grounds I think it possible that fresh light may yet be thrown on the theory of telegony, and that its dismissal by modern science has perhaps been a little hasty.
I deplore the re-marriage of widows further for the following reasons:
(1) On the general grounds that they are usually well beyond their teens, that the most dramatic and unforgettable episode in a woman's life has in them already been stamped with the image of another man in short, that their pristine impressionability has already been appropriated and also that unless their charms are so superlative as to make them unique, it amounts to an absurd exaggeration of an individual woman's differences from other women, to select a widow rather than a nubile spinster who has not the former's disadvantages.
(2) It is the male's privilege to be the initiator in sexual congress, and this he forfeits with a widow. If the reluctance to act as initiator is a factor in making him choose a widow, as it undoubtedly is in many modern men, then what he needs most is not marriage but sex-education.
Nevertheless, the following figures, culled from the Registrar-General's Statistical Reviews, show what an unduly large proportion of marriages in this country still take place with widows, and I should require a great deal of convincing that even as much as 10 per cent of them were due to the women in the case having been so superlatively seductive that no nubile virgin could have competed with them.
Then, if we take the years from 1914, we shall note the enormous and disproportionate rise, and the fall again after 1924:
It will be seen that, after 1925, there is a rapid and disproportionate decline in widow-marriages, to a point in 1932 at which they are less than in 1860, although the total number of marriages was more than half as much again as it was then. I wish I could boast that this has been due to my active propaganda against widow-marriages; but I cannot. And, still dissatisfied, I think, in view of the number of surplus spinsters in England and Wales, the proportion continues to be much too high, and should be lowered to vanishing point.
1 I could not get the figures for 1890.
(a) Since the bearing of a child is the only possible completion of the normal female's sexual cycle, any sterile "sexual experience" a girl may have before marriage, must be incomplete, non-satisfying, and therefore disturbing to her balance hence the absurdity of so-called "sexual freedom" for girls.
(b) If she has had a child out of wedlock, she is psycho-physically no better than a widowed mother, and perhaps not even as good; for her unmarried motherhood may have been due to a lack of character, or of self-respect, or of a sense of responsibility.
(c) The experience of physical union through love is such a dramatic one in the normal girl's life, that it is best for her to have it first with the man who is to remain her life-partner.
(d) Since woman's complete sexual cycle involves gestation, parturition and lactation, and any sterile concentration on the orgasm tends to cultivate the recessive maleness in her sexual equipment, the normal girl, who has had pre-nuptial "sexual experience," coupled with infertility, must have been marred by appreciable masculinization. (See pp. 3535, 452 and 464465 supra.)
Finally, let the reader suppose me adapting to one of his sex what I said at the end of the last chapter, and adding that, while I hope the present work will enable him to exercise his individual taste with confidence and safety, I should like him to appreciate why I have avoided anything in the nature of a too rigid formulation of rules and directions.
I am well aware of the predilection shown by many people in favour of hard and fast, fool-proof rules a predilection unscrupulously pandered to in popular treatises. But, at the risk of seeming less certain, because less dogmatic, I have preferred to keep within the bounds of scientific caution, and by placing as many facts as possible before the reader, to enable him to draw his own conclusions, in conformity with his own morphology and psychology, and with as much knowledge as would remove the worst perils and pitfalls from the undertaking.